It is fitting that the two hottest players of the round meet on Sunday (1pm local time) for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia title. Iga Swiatek will take her 27-match winning streak to the final, where she will meet Ons Jabeur, who has currently won 11 consecutive matches.
As for Swiatek, she acknowledges what she’s accomplished but is “trying to avoid all the fuss and playing well now.”
Will Swiatek keep rolling or will Jabeur, who had a harder time facing the semi-finals, keep her own streak? Here is our case for each player.
With 27 consecutive wins and 40 out of her previous 41 sets, the question is not whether Iga Swiatek will win, but whether she will test.
During her run to the Miami Open title, she lost 4.3 games per game. In Stuttgart, she lost 7.5 matches per game. Last week, it conceded just 17 games en route to the final – an average of 4.3 games down over five games.
That’s before she reached her dominance in the finals. Swiatek has won all seven ITF finals, losing a set only once (when she was aged 15 against Martina Di Giuseppe at the 2017 Bergamo ITF W15). She has won seven of her past eight final rounds. In those seven, no one managed to take more than five matches from them, and each of these competitors was a player who reached the top five in the rating.
Polona Hercog stands alone as the only player to defeat Swiatek in a professional final (6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at Lugano 2019 in Swiatek’s first final).
Swatek’s most assured final of the tournament was in Rome last year, where she defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0. Swiatek sweeps the field across multiple leagues and surfaces, but if anything, the slow mud of Rome (and Roland Garros) only enhances her game. It also means that there is a drive to accomplish an achievement you haven’t accomplished yet: a successful title defense.
Swiatek’s opponent in the final, Ons Jabeur, is one of the few players she still has something to prove against. This is the first time she has met the Tunisian this year. Jaber won their 2021 meeting, in Wimbledon and Cincinnati, and leads the confrontation 2-1 overall.
But Swiatek has shown this season that she is capable of reversing heavy losses, overcoming the deficit head-on against Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka. Swiatek will have a huge advantage in reaching the final stage.
Swiatek, who has overtaken Real Madrid, has won all four of its matches in straight sets this week. By contrast, Madrid champion Jaber has barely stopped to catch his breath in more than two weeks, narrowly escaping Sakkari in the quarter-finals and Daria Kasatkina in the semi-finals. – Alex Macpherson
It would be quite easy and understandable if Jabeur was satisfied with another quarter-final round. But after landing 6-1, 5-2 on No. 4 Maria Scari, the world number 7 put her foot forward: No, she wasn’t ready for this race to end. proceeded to win 10 of the last 11 matches of Scary stunned her first win in the top five on clay.
In front of Daria Kasatkina in the semi-finals, Jaber once again found herself on the plane on her way to Paris. And again, the Tunisian said no. Staring at match point deep in the third set, Jaber fired a forehand from the sideline. Two points later, I cleared another streak with a shot winner. Two games later, so far Another comeback was complete.
It’s no longer about deep kicks for Jabeur, who sits behind Swiatek for second in the race to the WTA Finals. Both women are on a double-digit winning streak and after joking earlier in the week that she was Swiatek’s pilot’s co-pilot, the cute Tunisian said she’s every woman to herself on Sunday.
“So the plane will crash tomorrow and there is only one parachute,” Jaber said. “I hope to take it.”
So what does Jabeur have to do to stop a seemingly pure jet fuel Swiatek? It’s all about faith, and Jabeur has concrete reasons to believe she could be Swiatek’s seal. As Alex already pointed out, Jaber has won the last two matches.
“Playing Iga, someone who hasn’t lost a match since then, I think so [what] It might have been missing [for] other players [is] Jaber said, “To believe more that they can beat her. She was playing incredibly in Miami-Indian Wells. Now she’s playing really well.” [But] She is human. People should know that.”
#1 Iga Swiatek (34) and #7 Ons Jabeur (25) are leading the round in wins this season.
– WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 14, 2022
Jabeur has the ability to relax in Swiatek with its variety, changing its pace between flat shots and spins. She also has her devastating shot, which not only wins points but leaves opponents increasingly frustrated. It’s worth noting that the only player to win six matches in a group from Swiatek in Rome was Bianca Andreescu, who used her versatility to keep the ball in uncomfortable shooting positions.
In Madrid, Jaber admitted that she was upset before the final against Jessica Pegula. the reason? She had plenty of time to think about the biggest match of her career. This wouldn’t be a problem in Rome, where her relentless schedule would not leave her a chance to reflect on the moment.
“I feel like in Rome I didn’t have time to think,” Jaber said. “The thing is, it’s good not to stress about it. In Madrid, I had a lot of time [between] Semi-finals and finals. The wait was awful. Perhaps I will take the wonderful experience I had in Madrid, to have it here in Rome.”
Jaber is trying to become the third woman to win both Madrid and Rome, respectively, with Dinara Safina and Serena Williams achieving both before her. The win will also pass another milestone from her roster, as she will leave Roma with an appearance in the top 5 list on Monday.
Jaber laughed: “I had my first child in Madrid.” “You know how much I love twins, so…it’s brother or sister, Roma.” – Courtney Nguyen