No. 1 Iga Swiatek beats No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka for third title in Rome

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[May 20, 2024 World No. 1 Iga Swiatek won her third Internazionali BNL d'Italia in four years on Saturday, defeating No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-3 in Rome.   

 

It was the eighth win for Swiatek, from Poland, in 11 meetings against her rival from Belarus. It also was the ninth straight win in a singles final for Swiatek, who most recently lost in a final round to Sabalenka at Madrid in 2023.

In Saturday's one hour, 29-minute match, Swiatek dominated the service game, winning 74 percent of the points on her first serve and 62 percent on her second serve -- and fending off all seven break points.

Sabalenka won just 56 percent of her first service points, 41 on her second serve and was broken four times.

The win gave Swiatek her 21st career WTA title, and fourth in 2024. Among those victories was a defeat of Sabalenka at the Mutua Madrid Open two weeks ago as Swiatek readies her clay-court game for the French Open, where she is the defending champion and a three-time winner (2020, 2022 and 2023). She also has won three times in Doha (2022, 2023 and 2024).

The two have developed a friendly rivalry and traded pleasantries during the trophy presentation.

Sabalenka said she has her eyes on a rematch in Paris.

"This time I'm not gonna forget. I'm gonna start with Iga," Sabalenka said. "Congrats on an incredible couple weeks. I hope we're gonna make it to the final of Roland Garros and I'm gonna get you there. Just kidding. At least I'll try to do better than today."

Swiatek responded.

"Aryna, another final, another great battle. I knew it wouldn't be easy," she said. "Thanks for sharing the court with me and really pushing me to be better. We'll see about that Roland Garros final."

Swiatek, 22, also joins Dinara Safina (2009) and Serena Williams (2013) as the only players to with the tournaments in Madrid and Rome in the same season.

--Field Level Media

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