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Italian Open: Iga Swiatek notches up 28 wins in a row as she defends her title

By BBC
Tennis Italian Open: Iga Swiatek notches up 28 wins in a row as she defends her title
MAY 15, 2022 LISTEN

World number one Iga Swiatek defended her Italian Open title with a dominant performance over Ons Jabeur, beating her 6-2 6-2.

The Polish 20-year-old has now won 28 matches in a row and five consecutive tournaments.

She got off to a fast start in both sets, denying Tunisia's Jabeur, 27, many chances to get into her stride.

After a challenging path to the final, Jabeur seemed fatigued and struggled with her serve in the second set.

"I'm going to celebrate with a lot of tiramisu!" Swiatek joked in her on-court interview, adding: "See you at the French Open."

Jabeur, who became the first African woman to win a WTA 1000 title in Madrid last week, mounted a late comeback attempt, breaking Swiatek at 4-0 in the second set to win two games in a row.

It was a brief respite, as Swiatek saved three break points to stop Jabeur's momentum - and dropped to her knees in tears on winning championship point.

Despite Jabeur's own 11-match winning streak coming to an end, the Tunisian will rise to a career-high ranking of world number six.

"We've had a great run on clay... we will learn from this match and we will continue forward," said Jabeur as she received her trophy.

  • Heading for a second Grand Slam title?

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Swiatek's first Tour-level title was winning Roland Garros in 2020

Emotionless on the court, the tears flowed as Swiatek dropped to the ground after winning championship point.

By the time she achieved the world number one ranking on 4 April, she had won three WTA 1000 titles in a row (Doha, Indian Wells and Miami) and has carried that momentum into the clay court swing (Stuttgart and Rome).

She moves past Serena Williams to fourth in the list of winning streaks since 2000 and also equals Williams with five tournament titles in a row.

It is impossible to know whether Swiatek would have ascended to the top ranking this quickly had Ashleigh Barty not retired suddenly, but the burden of being world number one has clearly not affected her.

Already a Slam champion aged just 19, she will undoubtedly be the favourite in Paris, when Roland Garros starts in a week's time.

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