Swiatek returns to Rome final after conquering Gauff

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Swiatek returns to Rome final after conquering Gauff

World No 1 Iga Swiatek conquered Coco Gauff in ruthless fashion to reach the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

Top-ranked Swiatek extended her winning streak to 11 matches with a 6-4 6-3 victory in one hour and 48 minutes over the reigning US Open champion.

Swiatek, who is attempting to complete a clay double by winning the Madrid and Italian titles back to back, will face either second-ranked Aryna Sabalenka or Danielle Collins in the final.

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Swiatek stunned the commentators after this remarkable winner in her clash with Gauff

Gauff may have defeated Swiatek in Cincinnati last summer but the gap remains considerable, and, despite a great start on the Italian clay, Gauff eventually fell to defeat with the Pole racking up her 10th win in 11 matches against the 20-year-old.

“I was just trying to be myself, focus on the work and trying to enjoy my time off the court as well so I can have the energy,” Swiatek told Sky Sports Tennis.

“I’m happy to be playing so consistently because it means that we’re doing everything well. I’m really proud of myself and the team as well.”

Asked whether writing tennis history is something that gives her extra motivation, Swiatek replied: “Honestly I’m not really thinking about that because it’s kind of a lot. I’m just living my life day by day. I’m not thinking about statistics or history. I think it’s easier that way. It makes you play more relaxed and more freely

“I’m just gonna try to play the best tennis as possible in the final. If I take it easy and step by step, I think it’s gonna be better than if I’m thinking about winning already.”

Swiatek ready to conquer Rome

25th final on Tour

37 wins in 2024

11 consecutive wins

Could become the first to win Madrid and Rome back to back since Serena Williams 11 years ago

Gauff, who lost to Swiatek in her first Grand Slam final at the French Open two years ago, came out firing, breaking serve at the first opportunity.

She had two chances to make it 3-0 but could not convert them and from there the top seed began to take control, eventually winning the opening set when Gauff’s serve let her down.

The American fought hard to try to stay with Swiatek in the second set and had one chance to get back on serve at 4-3, but she could not take it and her challenge came to an end shortly afterwards.

Swiatek could now become only the third player in history to win the Madrid-Rome double after Dinara Safina in 2009 and Serena Williams in 2013.

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Gauff delighted the crowd with an incredible lob in the early stages of her semi-final with Swiatek

‘It was kind of like a dam breaking in the end’

“Coco fought hard to stay in the match. It was kind of like a dam breaking in the end, the leaks were starting to show and Iga finally came through it,” said British player Liam Broady on Sky Sports Tennis.

“It’s just a testament to how relentless she is. She just keeps going and going and going. Coco gave everything she had. She emptied the tank and it was a pretty straightforward scoreline.”

‘She’s unstoppable’

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Annabel Croft and Naomi Broady believe Swiatek could improve on a grass surface due to the fact that her speed of play is her main strength

“She’s pretty much unstoppable or the closest thing to unstoppable as you can get,” Liam’s sister Naomi Broady said.

“She’s taking out the best player in the world with another business-like performance from her against a player who is trying to become a member of the top four in the women’s game.”

Former British No 1 Annabel Croft added: “It is breathtaking to watch her play. It’s like a masterclass of ball-striking and the ability to go open space, open space, and then hit a clean winner and leaving arguably the best athlete in the women’s game stranded at times.

“It was quite unbelievable to watch that level of tennis.”

Tale of the Tape

Swiatek vs Gauff: Tale of the Tape

What’s coming up on Sky Sports Tennis?

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In the run-up to the second Grand Slam of 2024 – the French Open at Roland Garros from May 26 – you can watch all of the biggest tennis stars in action live on Sky Sports as they compete across the clay-court season.

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  • Internationaux de Strasbourg (WTA 500) – May 20-26
  • Morocco Open (WTA 250) – May 20-2

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