The final of the 2022 Italian Open will see two of the WTA tour's most in-form players -- Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur -- lock horns for the trophy on Sunday.
Swiatek is currently on a 27-match winning streak that dates back to her triumph in Qatar in February. The Pole has been virtually unbeatable, dropping just one set over the course of her streak.
Jabeur, meanwhile, has won 11 matches in a row. The Tunisian took home her first WTA 1000 crown in Madrid earlier this month and has pocketed another five wins in Rome this week.
Jabeur comes into the final having beaten the likes of Maria Sakkari, Daria Kasatkina and Sorana Cirstea. She has been pushed to three sets in two of her latest encounters, but has exhibited exceptional fighting skills over the past fortnight.
Her win over Kasatkina, where she even saved a match point, would have filled her with confidence. She will need to be at her very best to stop Swiatek from winning her fifth title in a row.
Iga Swiatek is one of the rising stars in women’s tennis and, at the age of just 20, already has a Grand Slam to her name, winning the 2020 French Open. She has also had success in the Italian Open, beating Karolina Pliskova in straight sets (with a double bagel) in the final – just her second appearance at the tournament. And she’s on course to defend her crown, cruising to the final.
As the top seed of the tournament, Swiatek was given a bye to the second round where she played Lucky Loser Elena-Gabriela Ruse, winning 6-3 6-0. In the third round, the Polish superstar beat Victoria Azarenka in straight sets, 6-4 6-1 to set up a quarter-final against Bianca Andreescu. The Canadian gave Swiatek arguably her toughest set, pushing her to a tiebreaker, but the defending champions came through and won 7-6 (7-2) 6-0. The semi-finals brought a similarly easy ride, with Swiatek beating Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-1. Is there any stopping her?
Looking to do just that will be Ons Jabeur, who is in her third Italian Open and her first final, having never previously made it past the first round. The Tunisian entered this tournament at the first round, as the ninth seed, and beat Sorana Cirstea 6-0 7-6 to break her personal best after just one match.
The second round brought another straight-set victory, this time over Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5 6-2, before Jabeur dispatched Yulia Putintseva 6-3 6-2. Jabeur’s quarter-final against fourth seed Maria Sakkari got off to a rocky start but the Tunisian bounced back to take the match 1-6 7-5 6-1. And in the semi-final, Ons Jabeur survived another scare, beating Daria Kasatkina 6-4 1-6 7-5.
Top seed Iga Swiatek takes on ninth seed Ons Jabeur in the final of the Italian Open on Sunday. The Pole has won 36 out of 39 matches this season so far and is on a 27 match winning streak.
Swiatek started 2022 with semifinal runs at the Adelaide International and the Australian Open, losing to Ashleigh Barty and Danielle Collins, respectively. After losing in the last 16 of the Dubai Tennis Championships to Jelena Ostapenko, the 20-year-old's winning run began as she won the Qatar Open by beating Anett Kontaveit in the final.vzxdfst