Iga Swatek ties Serena Williams with 27-game winning streak

ROME — Not since Serena Williams seven years ago has another woman so hot.

No. 1 Iga Swatek beat Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday to extend her winning streak to 27 and reach the Italian Open final.

Williams won the same number of games in a row in 2014 and 2015.

Swatek dominated eighth-ranked Sabalenka with a combination of strength, consistency and skill to defend her Roma title and win her fifth match.

Although she sometimes struggled with her serve, Swatek was able to consistently beat forehand and backhand winners on the slow clay court of Foro Italico. The 20-year-old Polish player also hit a delicate backhand half-volley to win the final game of the first set.

Swiatek had the same number of winners and unforced errors at 15, while Sabalenka only made eight winners and had a whopping 31 unforced errors.

The tough Sabalenka was given a medical timeout late in the second set and had back treatment.

Swatek, the surprise winner of the 2020 French Open when she was ranked 54th, will be a favorite to win a second title at Roland Garros when the second Grand Slam of the year begins next weekend .

First, though, Swatek will face either Ons Jabeur, who is on a 10-game winning streak, or Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in Sunday’s final.

The men’s semi-finals were followed by Novak Djokovic against Kaspar Rudd and Alexander Zverev against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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