Swiatek successfully defends Rome to win fifth consecutive title

ROME, Italy — World No.1 Iga Swiatek won her fifth consecutive Hologic WTA Tour title on Sunday, defeating No.7 Ons Jabeur, 6-2, 6-2 to win the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. The 20-year-old Polish star successfully defended her title in Rome and extended her winning streak to 28 consecutive matches. 

The victory snapped Jabeur’s 11-match winning streak, which began with the Tunisian’s title run at the Mutua Madrid Open. 

Swiatek is just the second player to ever win four or more WTA 1000 titles in a single season, after Serena Williams won five in 2013. Swiatek has won every WTA 1000 she has contested this season, winning Doha, Indian Wells, Miami and now Rome. She currently holds five of the last nine WTA 1000 titles.

Swiatek won the first WTA 1000 title of her career last year in Rome. She is the ninth player to win back-to-back titles in Rome and the third-youngest player to capture two titles in Rome, older only than Chris Evert and Gabriela Sabatini. 

Coming into Sunday’s final, Swiatek was looking to level up her head-to-head against Jabeur, who had won their last two meetings. It did not take long for the World No.1 to put her stamp on the match. Swiatek broke Jabeur early to build a quick 3-0 lead and never relinquished control of the match.

Jabeur found herself with two small openings to break the Swiatek serve, but the Pole slammed the door each time. Serving at 4-2 in the first set, a pair of errors put Swiatek into a 0-30 deficit, which she quickly alleviated to hold. Then, in her opening service game of the second set, Swiatek wiped out the first break point she faced in the match. 

Jabeur would snap Swiatek’s six-game run with her first break of serve in the match at 4-1 in the second set. Buoyed by the break, Jabeur earned her best chance to flip the match in the 4-2 game. In the best game of the match, Swiatek survived a 0-40 deficit to save four break points and keep Jabeur at bay. The World No.1 outmaneuvered Jabeur in a series of rousing cat-and-mouse rallies before closing out the game with a big first serve.

Swiatek is now 8-1 in WTA finals and has run off 16 consecutive sets in finals. She has not lost more than five games in a final since losing the first WTA final she ever contested at 2019 Lugano (l. Polona Hercog). 

Having swept the titles in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, and Rome, Swiatek is now the fourth player in the 2000s to win five or more consecutive tournaments. She joins a vaunted list that includes Venus Williams in 2000, Justine Henin in 2007-2008 and Serena Williams in 2013. 

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