Tennis

Italian Open: Djokovic claims 6th title, Iga Swiatek makes it 5th in a row

Novak Djokovic wins 6th Italian Open Tilte. Photo: Skysports
  • On Sunday, Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 7-6(5) to win the Italian Open, which was his first title in six months
  • On the other hand, Swiatek defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 to defend her Italian Open title and extend her winning streak to 28 matches
  • The Italian Open title is Iga Swiatek’s fifth consecutive title, the world number one is clearly in her best form

Djokovic did not drop a set on his way to the final in Rome, where he earned his 1,000th tour-level victory by defeating Casper Ruud in the semi-finals to set up a meeting with Tsitsipas whom he defeated in last year’s French Open final.

Djokovic’s sixth consecutive win over Tsitsipas seemed inevitable as he stormed through the first set with a blistering display of hitting that Tsitsipas couldn’t match.

Iga Swiatek wins the Italian Open 2022. Photo: Daily Sabbah

Tsitsipas’ name rang around Campo Centrale in the fourth game of the second set. However, when Djokovic made an unforced error, giving the Greek player two breakpoints, the first of which he converted to take a 3-1 lead in the set.

After Tsitsipas held to make it 4-1, Djokovic accelerated, winning five of the next seven games to force a tiebreak and seal his sixth Italian Open title and first since winning the Paris Masters in November.

It’s been a perfect week for the world no one who became only the fifth man in Open Era history to reach 1,000 wins, joining Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl, and Rafa Nadal, ahead of the French Open next Sunday.

IGA SWIATEK DEFENDS THE ITALIAN OPEN TITLE

After defeating Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 to retain the women’s title, Iga Swiatek said she would treat Roland Garros like “any other tournament.”

Swiatek, the world number one, broke down in tears after winning her 28th match in a row, and she will be a hot favourite in Paris.

The 20-year-old Pole has only dropped one set in her last 20 matches and handled Jabeur calmly in a largely one-sided final in Rome.

The 20-year-old Pole has now won 28 consecutive matches and five tournaments in a row.

Serena Williams, who won 34 consecutive matches before retiring in 2013, was the last player to do so. Martina Navratilova holds the all-time record with a 74-match streak in 1984.

In mid-February, Swiatek’s most recent loss came in a third-set tiebreaker to Jelena Ostapenko in Dubai. She’s won 42 of the last 43 sets she’s played.

She got off to a fast start in both sets, denying Tunisia’s Jabeur, 27, several chances to get into her stride.

After a difficult road to the final, Jabeur appeared tired and struggled with her serve in the second set.

Tunisia’s Jabeur made history last week when she became the first Arab or African woman to win a WTA 1000 title. Still, she could not extend her career-high 11-match winning streak against her tenacious opponent.

Novak Dkovic wins Italian Open after a rough year start. Photo: REUTERS

Jabeur entered her first Rome final on a roasting Foro Italico centre court after two thrilling comeback victories over Daria Kasatkina and Maria Sakkari.

And, after trailing a set, she had three break points in game seven of the second set to tie it at 4-3, only to lose the game after wasting another break chance at deuce.

Swiatek has only dropped one set in her last 20 matches and handled Jabeur calmly in a largely one-sided final in Rome.

The 20-year-old Pole has now won 28 consecutive matches and five tournaments in a row.

Serena Williams, who won 34 consecutive matches before retiring in 2013, was the last player to do so. Martina Navratilova holds the all-time record with a 74-match streak in 1984.

 

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