Swatek defends Italian Open title for 28th straight

ROME — Iga Swiatek is about to play at the French Open.

No. 1 Swatek defeated Anse Jaber 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday to defend her Italian Open title and extend her winning streak to 28 games.

Swatek was the surprise winner of the 2020 French Open when she was ranked 54th. Now, the 20-year-old Polish player is most likely to claim a second title at the French Open when his second Grand Slam begins next Sunday.

Swiatek won five consecutive championships during her run.

Jabeur reached the final with 11 consecutive victories after winning the Madrid Open last week, but the Tunisian’s cunning shooting and spinning game proved no match for Swatek’s quick-moving and accurate hitting.

With a ribbon in the colors of the Ukrainian flag tied to her hat, Swatek dominated the game from the start, breaking Jaber’s serve in the second game with a combination of skill and power.

In the second game, Swatek won the ball with a forehand lob to pull Jabir to the forward position with a precision shot, then on her first break point, she couldn’t make it out of Jabir. Controlled the second serve in the onslaught.

Swatek also kept her composure when she saved four break points late in the second set, slipping in to finish the shot, and then responded with a superb backhand volley for the winner on the final break point.

The last player to win more games in a row was Serena Williams, who had a 34-game winning streak in 2013. The longest winning streak in history belongs to Martina Navratilova, who won 74 in 1984.

Later on the clay court at Foro Italico, Novak Djokovic played against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the men’s final.

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