World No. 1 and top-seeded Iga Swiatek continued her winning ways on Sunday, defeating No. 9 seed Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
The 20-year-old from Poland captured her fifth straight WTA Tour final in winning her 28th consecutive match overall. Swiatek joined Serena Williams in becoming the second player to win four or more WTA 1000 titles in a single season after dispatching the Tunisian in one hour, 22 minutes.
“Proud of myself. At the beginning of the tournament, I didn’t know it would be possible to keep up the streak and with all the wins,” Swiatek said. “I’m pretty happy I did it really step by step and I just focused on the right things because I think it led to all the success this week.
“Yeah, for sure it was a long path for me since the beginning, but I’m really proud of myself and my team.”
Swiatek was overcome by emotion after Jabeur’s final backhand sailed into the net. She tossed her racquet aside, fell to her knees and placed her face in her hands.
Swiatek now will set her sights on the French Open, where she’ll attempt to capture her second Grand Slam title. She won in Paris in 2020.
Swiatek snapped a personal two-match skid against Jabeur despite registering just one ace on Sunday. She won 22 of 32 first-serve points, however, and converted five of nine break points.
Jabeur saw her 11-match winning streak come to a halt on Sunday. She was bidding for her second straight WTA 1000 title after her win last week in Madrid.
“I mean, I did everything that I can,” Jabeur said. “I made her visit all the corners of the court. I know that Iga plays much better when you open the court, so maybe I should have stayed more in the middle and let her lose the point. I don’t know. Definitely I did my best. The thing is, I bring many more shots in that point. She deserved to win, for sure.”
Swiatek was quick to credit her opponent after the match.
“I want to congratulate Ons because she had such a good run on the clay court,” Swiatek said. “You have shown fight, spirit, so much variety that it’s really nice to have you on tour. Your tennis is different and your tennis is really interesting for women’s tennis I think.
“It was so nice to play here and to be in Rome. … Today, I’m going to celebrate with a lot of tiramisu. No regrets.”
Internationaux de Strasbourg
Eighth seed Magda Linette of Poland joined countrywoman Swiatek in the winner’s circle Sunday when she defeated Russian Varvara Gracheva 6-3, 6-0 in the first round at Strasbourg, France.
Linette smashed seven aces and never faced break point as she took care of business in just 67 minutes.
Harmony Tan of France also advanced by eliminating Australia’s Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-1. Tan saved five of seven break points she faced while converting six of her eight opportunities to break Stosur’s serve.
Grand Prix Sar La Princesse Lalla Meryem
Second seed Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia opened the first round at Rabat, Morocco, with a 57-minute win over Spain’s Irene Burillo Escorihuela 6-2, 6-1.
Tomljanovic converted six of eight break points and won 17 of 20 first-service points (85 percent).
Swedish ninth seed Rebecca Peterson was less fortunate. Petra Marcinko of Croatia downed Peterson 6-0, 2-6, 7-5 in two hours and 11 minutes. Marcinko came from behind 5-4 in the third set by winning the final three games.
–Field Level Media