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Iga Swiatek retains Italian Open title with win over Ons Jabeur

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Rome, May 15 (Ajitweekly News) World No 1 Iga Swiatek clinched her fifth consecutive WTA Tour title on Sunday, defeating No. 7 ranked Ons Jabeur, 6-2, 6-2 in the final to retain her Italian Open crown, here.

With this, the Polish star extended her winning streak to 28 consecutive matches. Swiatek is just the second player ever to win four or more WTA 1000 titles in a single season. Serena Williams won five in 2013.

The 20-year-old 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.

During 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 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 breakpoint 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 breakpoints and keep Jabeur at bay.

The World No.1 outsmarted Jabeur in a series of rousing cat-and-mouse rallies before closing out the game with a big first serve.

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.

–Ajitweekly News

avn/bsk

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