Super Iga Swiatek sweeps aside Ons Jabeur to land Italian Open crown

Iga Swiatek successfully defended her Italian Open crown with a commanding 6-2 6-2 victory over Ons Jabeur in Rome on Sunday.

The world number one continued her rich vein of form on the WTA tour as she triumphed in a fifth successive tournament, adding to her successes in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami and Stuttgart.

The 20-year-old became the fourth player to do so in the 2000s – after Venus Williams, Justine Henin and Serena Williams – while extending her winning streak to 28 matches.

Swiatek, who is the ninth different player to win back-to-back titles in Rome, is also now the joint-most successful Polish player in WTA 1000 Masters history with five titles – level with Agnieszka Radwanska.

“At the beginning of the tournament, I didn’t know it would be possible to keep up the streak and with all the wins,” she 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.

“It’s pretty hard to describe it because all these tournaments that I’ve won seem pretty surreal right now.

“I feel like just continuing the same things that I did before really was the key to that. It’s pretty weird because you may think every tournament, that it takes something more.

“But I’m pretty happy with my solid game; I was able to just play good and also improve during the tournament.”

The reigning champion had dropped just 17 games on the way to reaching her second successive final in the Italian capital.

Her dominant form continued as she broke straightaway to establish control on Centrale at 3-0, before holding serve to win her 41st set from a possible 42.

Back-to-back breaks followed in the second set as Swiatek closed in on a record-equalling fifth title of the year, which would move her level with Serena Williams (five in 2013).

Appearing in her second successive final, Madrid Open champion Jabeur stopped the rot by breaking back immediately and holding to reduce the deficit to 4-2.

Protecting a run of 11 straight victories, the Tunisian threatened to move to within touching distance of Swiatek at 40-0 against the serve in the next.

However, the Pole demonstrated her true gladiatorial qualities; rescuing four break points to move to within a game of an emotional victory, which she secured to maintain her impressive WTA final record (8-1).

Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur go head to head in what promises to be a mouth-watering Italian Open final in Rome on Sunday.

The WTA 1000 event concludes with a battle between the two in-form players so far in 2022.

Reigning champion Swiatek is seeking her fifth title of the year already, having triumphed in Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami and Stuttgart.

The world number one has won a tour-best 34 matches this season – including each of her last 27 – and lost just one the last 41 sets she has played.

That red-hot streak form has continued in Rome. The 20-year-old, who is targeting a first successful title defence in her career, has dropped just 17 games all week; ruthlessly putting third seed Aryna Sabalenka to the sword 6-2 6-1 in the semi-finals.

Although, she was beaten by Jabeur in both of their meetings last year at Wimbledon and Cincinatti.

The ninth seed became the first Arab WTA winner in Madrid last week, and is now aiming to become only the third player to follow that up with victory in Rome in successive weeks after Dinara Safina and Serena Williams.

The Tunisian, who also reached the final in Charleston, is the form player on clay this season; her tally of 17 victories the best on the tour.

Like Swiatek, Jabeur is also protecting an impressive winning streak, having now prevailed in each of her last 11 matches.

But will she be the player that finally ends the Pole’s relentless run?

Play gets underway at 12pm BST on Sunday with the final contested over the best of three sets in Rome.

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Watch Iga Swiatek vs Ons Jabeur 2022 WTA Italian Open live stream on laptop, mobile or tablet devices

Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas go head to head once more in the pick of the matches on semi-final Saturday at the Italian Open.

It promises to be an exciting climax in the men’s draw with four of the top five seeds remaining.

For the third time in the space of a month, Zverev and Tsitsipas collide in an ATP 1000 semi-final.

The previous two encounters were shared with Tsitsipas prevailing on the way to winning in Monte Carlo, while Zverev exacted his revenge in Madrid last week.

We can expect another mouth-watering showdown between players who boast a combined five Masters titles on clay.

Although Tsitsipas, who has the most wins on the ATP this year (30), leads the head-to-head 7-4 and has won three of their four clashes on surface.

Meanwhile, 37-time Masters champion Novak Djokovic is aiming to become only the fifth player in ATP history to record 1,000 match wins when he takes on Casper Ruud.

A five-time winner in Rome, this is Djokovic’s ninth successive semi-final in the Italian capital, while fifth seed Ruud is set for his fourth Masters semi on clay.

Only the third player to win 20+ straight WTA 1000 matches (26), the red-hot Iga Swiatek continues her quest for a fifth title of 2022 against Aryna Sabalenka.

The reigning champion is also the second-youngest player to reach four WTA 1000 semi-finals in a single season – after Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.

Meanwhile, Sabalenka has enjoyed a timely upturn in fortunes. The third seed had never previous progressed beyond round three in Rome, while she returned to the Italian capital off the back of a first-round exit in Madrid last week.

But she has won each of her last three semi-finals on clay, which will stand her in good stead as she looks to end Swiatek’s relentless streak.

Ons Jabeur – champion in Madrid – is seeking a record-extending 17th victory on clay this season, and 11th on the spin.

Standing in her way is world number 23 Daria Kasatkina, who defeated second seed Paula Badosa on the way to reaching her first semi-final in Rome.

Play gets underway at 11am BST on Saturday with all matches contested over the best of three sets in Rome.

Novak Djokovic racked up his 999th career match win as he defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets to reach the Italian Open semi-finals on Friday.

A five-time winner in Rome, Djokovic also secured his return to the top of the ATP rankings by advancing to the last four of this event for a ninth successive year.

The Serbian is the most successful player in the ATP Masters 1000 series – amassing 37 titles in his career – and is now just two wins away from capturing another after digging deep to see off Auger-Aliassime.

In his first meeting with the Canadian, Djokovic broke in game eight for the opportunity to serve out for the opening set.

Auger-Aliassime responded immediately to put it back on serve, but the top seed broke to 15 at 6-5 to draw first blood.

Once again, the 20-time major winner took control of proceedings in the second set; a delicious backhand lob giving him another break and a 4-2 lead.

Nevertheless, the eighth seed dug deep to rescue match point in his next service game, before breaking back as the set went to a tie-break.

Although, it was very one-sided from there; Djokovic dominating to advance to the last four.

Next up for him is Casper Ruud after the fifth seed beat Denis Shapovalov 7-6(7) 7-5.

The Buenos Aires champion, who was also a runner-up in Miami, is through to his second semi-final in Rome, having progressed to the same stage two years ago.

The same can be said for Stefanos Tsitsipas, who chalked up his 30th victory of the season as he saw off home favourite Jannik Sinner 7-6(5) 6-2.

Champion in Monte Carlo, the fourth seed hit 10 aces on the way to setting up a showdown with Alexander Zverev.

The 2017 winner – and Madrid Open finalist – was a 7-5 6-2 victor over Cristian Garin.

Over in the Ladies’ draw, reigning champion Iga Swiatek continued her rich vein of form as she put former US Open winner Bianca Andreescu to the sword 7-6(2) 6-0.

The world number one registered her 26th successive victory of a remarkable season, in which she has already triumphed in Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami and Stuttgart.

The Pole will look to continue that streak against four-time Masters champion Aryna Sabalenka, who came from behind to beat Amanda Anisimova 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Madrid Open champion Ons Jabeur also maintained her impressive momentum with a wonderful turnaround to Maria Sakkari 1-6 7-5 6-1.

The ninth seed lost nine of the opening 10 games, but hit back with seven of the next nine to force a deciding set.

Sakkari had won each of her eight previous quarter-finals, but was completely powerless as Jabeur racked up her 16th win on clay this season – more than any other player.

Her reward is a clash with Daria Kasatkina, who advanced to the semi-finals after opponent Jil Teichmann retired injured when trailing 6-4 3-2.

A high quality field assembles for the 2021 WTA Rome Masters, and a live stream is available for multiple matches.

Also known as the Italian Open, the 2021 WTA Rome event features 16 seeded players up against a series of qualifiers and wildcards as they battle it out from May 8-16.

The clay court event is held at the Foro Italico in Rome and is classified as a WTA Masters 1000 event with a total prize fund of €1,692,169.

Romania’s Simona Halep is the defending champion after she defeated Karolína Plíšková in last year’s final.

Halep is the number three seed as she bids to successfully retain the title but faces a formidable test from a number of in-form stars.

Ashleigh Barty is the number one seed, while Japan’s Naomi Osaka is seeded number two as she also bids for a maiden WTA Rome crown.

Elina Svitolina won this title back-to-back in 2017 and 2018, while last year’s beaten finalist Plíšková claimed glory in 2019.

Serena Williams makes her return to action as the number eight seed, while the likes of Johanna Konta, Aryna Sabalenka, Sofia Kenin and Petra Kvitová are also among the seeds.

Matches from multiple courts are available to watch live on desktop, mobile or tablet devices in the UK and various other regions worldwide.

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3) Once registered, go to the sports homepage and select ‘Tennis’ from the left-hand menu

4) Select the play icon next to the match in progress and the stream window will appear

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