Iga Swiatek continues incredible win streak with victory over Ons Jabeur in Rome final

World No 1 makes it 28 in a row after 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Tunisian at Italian Open

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Iga Swiatek made it a remarkable 28 wins in a row after thrashing Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 in the Italian Open final on Sunday.

The Polish world No 1 has now won five consecutive tournaments after dominating Jabeur from the start in Rome.

Swiatek, 20, is now overwhelming favourite to win her second French Open title when the next Grand Slam starts at Roland Garros in a week's time after impressively defending her crown in Italy.

Before then, she plans “to celebrate with a lot of tiramisu” following her latest victory in a run that has seen her drop just one set in 20 matches.

“I already know that I did some great stuff this season, so I feel like I can just play freely,” Swiatek said. “For sure the expectations around are higher, but I never had a problem to cut it off and not to think about it. Also I’m gaining experience at that.”

Swiatek is just the second player to win four or more WTA 1000 titles in a single season, after Serena Williams won five in 2013. “All these tournaments that I’ve won seem pretty surreal right now,” she added.

The last player to win more consecutive matches was Justine Henin, who won 32 straight over 2007 and 2008. The all-time longest streak belongs to Martina Navratilova, who had a run of 74 in 1984.

Jabeur was on a streak of her own with 11 consecutive wins entering the final after securing the Madrid Open title last week but the Tunisian’s crafty game of drop shots and spins proved no match for Swiatek’s swift movement and accurate groundstrokes.

“Iga is the No 1 for a reason,” Jabeur, 27, said. “She’s really the leader here on tour. I personally have a lot to learn from her.

“I felt like I was trying my best to make her visit all the corners of the court. But she was already ready for that.

“We've had a great run on clay … we will learn from this match and we will continue forward.”

Swiatek took control right from the start, breaking Jabeur’s serve in the second game of the match with a mix of finesse and power.

The Pole won one point in that second game with a forehand lob winner after drawing Jabeur forward with a well-placed drop shot, then on her first break point she took a huge swipe at a second serve that Jabeur couldn’t control.

Swiatek also kept her composure when she saved four break points at a crucial point late in the second set, sliding in to reach a drop shot then responding with a splendid backhand volley drop winner on the final break point after a 19-shot rally.

When a backhand from Jabeur landed in the net to end it, Swiatek sunk down to the clay and covered her face with her hands as she bent over towards the clay court.

“I want to congratulate Ons because she had such a good run on the clay court,” Swiatek said in her victory speech after the match.

“You have shown fight, spirit, so much variety that it's really nice to have you on tour. Your tennis is different is really interesting for women's tennis I think.

“It wasn't easy for the whole week to play every day, but the crowd gave me so much energy that it was no nice to play here and be in Rome.”

Updated: June 24, 2022, 11:54 AM
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