ROME — Not since Serena Williams seven years in the past has one other girl had such a sizzling streak in tennis.
Williams received the identical variety of consecutive matches over 2014 and 2015.
Aiming to defend her Rome title and win her fifth straight match, Swiatek dominated the eighth-ranked Sabalenka with a mixture of energy, consistency and finesse.
While she struggled with her serve at instances, Swiatek, 20, was in a position to constantly crush each forehand and backhand winners on the sluggish, red-clay court docket on the Foro Italico. She additionally hit a fragile backhand half-volley winner within the final recreation of the primary set.
Swiatek had the identical variety of winners and unforced errors, 15, whereas Sabalenka produced simply eight winners and had 31 unforced errors.
The hard-hitting Sabalenka took a medical timeout late within the second set and had her again handled.
Swiatek, who was a shock champion on the French Open in 2020 when she was ranked No. 54, would be the favourite so as to add a second title at Roland Garros when the yr’s second Grand Slam begins subsequent weekend.