2022 Italian Open: Swiatek to face Sabalenka; Jabeur progresses
Top seed Iga Swiatek hammered Bianca Andreescu in straight sets 7-6(2), 6-0 to claim a semi-final berth at the 2022 Italian Open. The Polish star clinched her 26th straight win. In the semis, she will be up against number three seed Aryna Sabalenka, who bested Amanda Anisimova in three sets. Meanwhile, 2022 Madrid Open winner Ons Jabeur will face Daria Kasatkina. Here's more.
As per WTA, Swiatek now has the joint-fifth longest streak in this century, equalling Victoria Azarenka's tally of 26 matches (2012). Only Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and Justine Henin have won more successive matches since 2000. Notably, it was her 12th win from 13 tour-level quarter-finals. She has won 38 of her past 39 sets dating back to the fourth round of Indian Wells.
Swiatek is only behind the Williams sisters and Henin in terms of most matches won in succession. "Being in that kind of group is like a dream come true for me. I wouldn't think of that when I was younger," she said post the win.
Swiatek pocketed 71 points including 41 from serves. She won 30 receiving points to Andreescu's 28. Notably, Swiatek fired in two aces and had a 72% win in the first serve. She won six out of six break points.
Sabalenka has now bettered her ATP record to 1-4 against Anisimova. Earlier, she had lost to the American twice in Grand Slams in 2019 (Australian Open and French Open). She had failed to get past Anisimova in Charleston and Madrid Open this season. Sabalenka booked her second semi-final spot this year and will take on Swiatek next. She trails Swiatek 1-2 in head-to-head series.
Swiatek enjoys a 2-1 lead in the ATP match-ups against the former world number three. Interestingly, the Polish ace recorded both her wins in 2022. She beat Sabalenka in straight sets at the Qatar Open and Stuttgart Open.
Number nine seed Ons Jabeur defeated number four seed Maria Sakkari 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 to bag a semi-final spot. She now leads 2-1 in the ATP match-ups against Sakkari. She is on a 10-match win streak. Notably, she has pocketed the most number of wins on clay this season (16). It was her 24th win of the season, while Swiatek leads with 33 wins.
Daria Kasatkina was handed a walkover by Jil Teichmann with the score reading 6-4, 2-3. The world number 23 will be competing in her maiden semi-final in Rome. Prior to that, she had a 0-4 win-loss record in the round of 16 at the Italian Open. Notably, It will be her first semi-final at a WTA 1000 event on clay.
Jabeur has a 3-2 win-loss record against Kasatkina. That includes a straight-set win (6-3, 6-3) in the round of 16 at the Stuttgart Open last month.