Iga Swiatek has reached the Italian Open final after beating Aryna Sabalenka.©TNZT
Iga Swiatek advanced to the Italian Open final on Saturday after crushing Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 to put her one game away from a fifth straight tournament victory. World number one Swiatek crushed Sabalenka in an hour and 16 minutes in Rome to claim her 27th rebound victory, a tally last achieved by Serena Williams in 2015. Pole Swiatek is the defending champion in Rome and favorite to the French Open later this month, a fact underscored by the way she treated her opponent.
World number eight Sabalenka is a two-time Grand Slam doubles winner and has 10 career singles titles to her name, but the chasm displayed at Foro Italico was bigger than the rankings suggested.
The Belarusian, who had to take time out for a back massage as she led 4-1 in the second set, won just two of her service games and couldn’t follow the style animated by Swiatek.
Swiatek is now awaiting the winner of the other semi-final between Ons Jabeur and unseeded Daria Kasatkina.
The ninth seed, Jabeur, made history last weekend by winning in Madrid to become the first Arab or African player to win a WTA 1000 title.
The Tunisian is in the last four after an incredible fightback in her quarter-final win over Maria Sakkari on Friday.
One set and 5-2 behind in the second, Jabeur chained eight straight games to move forward in the match, a lead she never relinquished.
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