Swiatek defeats Andreescu, meets Sabalenka in Rome semi-finals

ROME, Italy – Top seed and defending champion Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 26 with a 7-6 (2) 6-0 victory over Bianca Andreescu in one hour and 44 minutes to reach International BNLD Italia. The semi-finals.

Swiatek, at 20, now has the fifth longest running streak this century, matching the 26 straight wins that Victoria Azarenka started in 2012. Only Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Justin Henin have won more games in a row since 2000. Swiatek has also won 38 of her last 39 sets go back to the fourth round from Indian Wells, with the only set falling to Lyudmila Samsonova in the Stuttgart semi-finals.

The 2020 Roland Garros champion continued her style of excellence in the quarter-finals. Swiatek has now won 12 of her 13 quarter-final matches, save for her loss to Maria Sakkari at Roland Garros 2021.

It was the first professional meeting between two players who won their first major teen slams in the past three years. Swiatek and Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion, only clashed once when he was young, as Swiatek won 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the 2016 Fed Cup Junior Championships.

Match management: The first absorbing group saw the momentum gradually shift back and forth. The two players investigated each other’s games while finding their domain, and as soon as one seemed to have the upper hand, the other resisted.

Swiatek had a brighter start, firing a string of backhand winners to take a 2-0 lead. Andreescu responded with three runs on the trot to score in the lead, 3-2. Swiatek responded with a hat-trick, hitting a cross forehand to take a 5-3 lead. Some fierce returnees from Andreescu re-ranked the world No. 1 to 5-5.

Conveniently, the opening chapter was determined by the tiebreak. Andreescu was shaken in the third point by an overtake in favor of Swiatek, who captured the last momentum change and stayed on his front foot, closing her first setpoint with a reliable 1-2 backhand.

After this first set of tight rivalries, Swiatek eased the race through the second set, topping a series of primary electric exchanges to break Andreescu three times. The Canadian clung valiantly, saving two match points in style, but her backhand found the net on a third point.

ROME: Swiatek beat Andreescu at QF marquee for 26th straight win

2022 Rome

Sabalenka’s first win over Anisimova in five matches

3 seed Aryna Sabalenka cut three years out of four consecutive matches of absurdity against Amanda Anisimova at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, taking her first win of the series to advance 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to the semifinals.

Sabalenka has lost to Anisimova twice in the 2019 Grand Slam stage, at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, as well as twice this year’s claycourt season, in Charleston and Madrid.

But this was the deepest tie the duo had ever faced. Anisimova was trying to reach her second semi-final at the WTA level 1000 or above, the biggest since her debut at Roland Garros 2019. But three-time WTA 1000 champion Sabalenka rose to the occasion to book her second place in the semi-finals. for 2022, and the biggest since last year’s US Open.

Match management: The clash began in line with their previous confrontations. Anisimova easily redirected Sabalenka’s strength, and even when she lost her lead in the initial break, she kept the momentum. Sabalenka coughed up five double faults in the first set, including a double breaking point.

But Anisimova was more prone to double faults during the rest of the match, committing two separate break points in the second set. Meanwhile, Sabalenka has found her fringes with impressive discipline. After she scored 14 unintended fouls in the first set, she lowered that number to just four in the second and seven in the third.

Highlights: Sabalenka d. Anisimova

The forehand winner took Sabalenka’s first break in the decider. Although another pair of double faults caused her to miss one of those fouls, it was just a passing picture, closing the match with her first hit of the day.

I look ahead: Swiatek leads the overall showdown with Sabalenka 2-1, including their meeting this year in the Doha quarter-finals and Stuttgart final. During these two matches, Swiatek received only nine matches.