Tennis

Świątek defends Italian Open title with 28th straight win

Top-ranked Iga Świątek overwhelmed Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 to defend her Italian Open title on May 15, 2022 and extend her winning streak to 28 matches.

Top-ranked Iga Świątek overwhelmed Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 to defend her Italian Open title on May 15, 2022 and extend her winning streak to 28 matches. | Photo Credit: WTA

The top-ranked Iga Świątek overwhelmed Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 to defend her Italian Open title on Sunday and extend her winning streak to 28 matches.

Świątek was a surprise champion at the French Open in 2020 when she was ranked No. 54. Now the 20-year-old Polish player is the favorite to add a second title at Roland Garros when the year’s second Grand Slam starts next Sunday.

Świątek has won five straight titles during her run. Jabeur was on a streak of her own with 11 consecutive wins entering the final after her Madrid Open title last week but the Tunisian’s crafty game of drop shots and spins proved no match for Świątek’s swift movement and accurate groundstrokes.

Wearing a ribbon attached to her hat featuring the colors of Ukraine’s flag, Świątek took control right from the start, breaking Jabeur’s serve in the second game of the match with a mix of finesse and power.

Świątek won one point in that second game with a forehand lob winner after drawing Jabeur forward with a well-placed drop shot, then on her first break point she took a huge swipe at a second serve that Jabeur couldn’t control.

Świątek also kept her composure when she saved four break points at a crucial point late in the second set, sliding in to reach a drop shot then responding with a splendid backhand volley drop winner on the final break point.

The last player to win more consecutive matches was Serena Williams, who put together run of 34 straight ending in 2013. The all-time longest streak belongs to Martina Navratilova, who had a run of 74 in 1984.

Later on the red clay court at the Foro Italico, Novak Djokovic was playing Stefanos Tsitsipas in the men’s final.


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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 1:08:44 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/witek-defends-italian-open-title-with-28th-straight-win/article65416927.ece