Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur will take on each other in the final of the Rome Open on Sunday after lengthening their match-winning run to 27 and 11 matches respectively. However, both players’ semi-final victories came in a contrasting fashion.
In the first semi-final, Swiatek, the defending champion needed 79 minutes to dispatch off the third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, 6-2, 6-1. Swiatek won 79% of her first-serve points to Sabalenka’s 29% and 55% of her second-serve points to the latter’s 50%. The world no. 1 saved four of the five break points she faced while converting six break points on Sabalenka’s serve, of the 15 opportunities that came her way. In terms of winners and unforced errors count, Swiatek had 15 winners, seven more than Sabalenka’s eight and 15 unforced errors, around half as many as the former world no. 2’s 31.
Talking about the milestones she’s currently setting, Swiatek said, post-match, “At these tournaments where we play day after day, we don’t really get time to celebrate. Right after we finish the previous match, we have to think about the next one. It’s pretty tough. But I know that after I’m going to be really proud of myself. For sure I’m going to have time to think about what I did. But, yeah, I mean, I’m just constantly surprising myself that I can do better and better. I feel like I actually can believe now that the sky’s the limit. That’s the fun part, for sure.”
Rome Open: Ons Jabeur slides into the final
Meanwhile, in her semi-final against Daria Kasatkina, Jabeur fended off a match point in the third set to clinch a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 win in a match that was five minutes shy of two hours. Little separated the two players but when it came to the most decisive moments of the match, it was the Tunisian who held her own. Jabeur won 55% of her first-serve points and 51% of her second-serve point, while Kasatkina won 54% and 50% of her first and second-serve points respectively.
Heading into the Rome Open final, the world no. 7 Ons Jabeur will carry winning momentum against Iga Swiatek, with a 2-1 lead in their head-to-head. However, this will be the first time the two will be clashing against each other on this surface.
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