ITALIAN OPEN | Tennis

Italian Open | Swiatek ‘double bagels’ Pliskova

Smacking success: Iga Swiatek warmed up for the defence of her French Open crown with a ruthless demolition of Karolina Pliskova in the final.  

Polish teenager Iga Swiatek crushed Czech ninth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 to win the Italian Open on Sunday.

The 19-year-old reigning French Open champion took just 45 minutes to ‘double bagel’ the 2019 Rome winner two weeks before she opens her title defence in Roland Garros.

Swiatek, ranked 15, claimed her third WTA title having followed her Roland Garros success with a win in Adelaide in January.

Overwhelmed

“I’m really, really happy,” said an emotional Swiatek. “I’m overwhelmed, at the beginning of this tournament I would not have dreamed of winning it.”

Swiatek swept through the first set in just 20 minutes, with Pliskova winning just four points.

Pliskova tried to fight back in the third game of the second set, holding a double break to go 2-1, but the Polish player ruthlessly snuffed out any return.

“I will just quickly forget about today,” said Pliskova, the World No. 9, who was playing in her third consecutive Rome final. The former World No. 1 retired injured in last year’s final to Romania’s Simona Halep.

“I’ve had some great matches here, in the past I did well.”

Djokovic makes it

Meanwhile on Saturday, defending champion and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic battled past Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2 to set up a clash with nine-time winner Rafael Nadal for the sixth time in the Italian Open final.

Djokovic had two match points in the 12th game of the second set of his semifinal before Sonego forced a third set to the delight of the home crowd in the Foro Italico.

The Serb saved three break points in the first game of the third set, coming back from 0-40 before powering towards his 11th Rome final.

“I think I bounced back very well after the second set and 0-40, maybe if he started with a break up in the third it would be different,” said Djokovic.

“I’ve only myself to blame for not closing the match in the second set, I could have and should have.”

The results: Women: Final: Iga Swiatek bt Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0.

Men: Semifinal: Novak Djokovic bt Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 9:07:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/italian-open-swiatek-double-bagels-pliskova/article34573872.ece

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