Swiatek Too Good For Sabalenka, Wins Third Rome Masters Title

by Staff | May 18th, 2024, 11:26 pm
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Iga Swiatek is now a 3-time champion at the Rome Masters after cruising past rival Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-3.

“I kind of knew that if I’m going to work hard and if I’m going to be in the right mindset, this is achievable,” Swiatek told the WTA. “I’m happy I was so focused and disciplined throughout the tournament to do that.”

Swiatek was never in trouble in the match as she broke Sabalenka early in the first and then at 3-all in the second, taking the last four games of the match.

Sabalenka beat Swiatek at Madrid last year, but today didn’t have the consistency to hang from the baseline, and when her shots sailed long, she was in trouble.

“I know that she’s moving well and I have to stay aggressive, I have to keep pushing,” Sabalenka said. “There is little chance that she’s going to give me an easy point. Maybe knowing that, it makes me rush things a little bit.

“I guess that’s what I’m going to try to do differently next time when I’m playing against her, not rush things, trust my game, and know that I don’t have to overdo stuff to get those key points.”

The world No. 1 is the fourth player to sweep the Madrid-Rome double and first since Serena Williams in 2013. She wins her sixth Masters 1000 title improves to 21-5 in tournament finals and 8-3 against Sabalenka including a win in the Madrid final two weeks ago.

“For sure this match looked a little bit differently than in Madrid,” Swiatek added. “I felt like I’m putting a lot of pressure. I just continued doing that throughout the whole match. Really proud of myself and really happy.”

Swiatek will now take a 12-match win streak into the French Open where she will be the big favorite to win a fourth Roland Garros title.

“I’m No. 1 so I’m the favorite everywhere if you look at rankings. But rankings don’t play, so I’ll do everything step by step and we’ll see,” Swiatek said.

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