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

Jonathan Davies in WTA Italian Open Rome 15 May 2022
Swiatek successfully defended her title in Rome (Giuseppe Maffia / Alamy Stock Photo)

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).