Iga Swiatek’s relentless winning run continues as she reaches Rome final

Iga Swiatek

Defending champion Iga Swiatek defeated Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets to extend her winning streak to 27 matches and book a place in the final, where she will face Ons Jabeur.

The Polish world number one progressed 6-2 6-1 against the number eight seed to become the first player since Simona Halep in 2017 to make four WTA 1000 finals in a single season.

“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,” Swiatek, 20, said in her post-match interview.

“It is pretty tough, but I know that after I am going to be really proud of myself. I am just constantly surprising myself that I can do better and better.”

Jabeur needed three sets to get past Russian Daria Kasatkina, eventually coming through 6-4 1-6 7-5 having saved a match point.

Ninth seed Jabeur is seeking a second consecutive WTA title triumph after claiming last week’s Madrid Open.

Those hopes looked to have been ended when Kasatkina was on the brink of victory leading 5-4 in the decider, but Jabeur recovered to extend her career-best run to 11 straight victories.

“It is never easy to play (against Kasatkina). I know this surface kind of suits her very well because it is slow and she likes it. She was playing really well this week,” Jabeur said after her victory.

“It was a tough one for me not being 100 per cent there, so I am pretty glad that I got the win and into the final again.

“I am exhausted, yes, but it is part of my job. It is going to help me push more tomorrow. There is only one match left.”

Swiatek is now the outstanding favourite to win the final against Jabeur and the French Open, with that Grand Slam event getting underway at the end of this month.