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Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates after winning match point against Aryna Sabalenka during their women's singles final match at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2024 at Foro Italico on May 18, 2024 in Rome, Italy. Picture: MIKE HEWITT/GETTY IMAGES
Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates after winning match point against Aryna Sabalenka during their women's singles final match at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2024 at Foro Italico on May 18, 2024 in Rome, Italy. Picture: MIKE HEWITT/GETTY IMAGES

Bengaluru — Iga Swiatek beat Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-3 to win her third Italian Open title on Saturday as the Pole came out on top once again in a battle between the top two in the women’s rankings after her Madrid Open triumph earlier in May.

The title was the 21st of Swiateks career as the world No 1 extended her unbeaten run to 12 matches on clay to sound out a warning to her rivals ahead of this months French Open where she is a three-time winner and the defending champion.

“After Madrid I knew it would not be easy. It can always go both ways,” 22-year-old Swiatek said. “Thank you [Sabalenka] for sharing the court with me and pushing me to be better.”

Swiatek broke Sabalenka twice in the first set where the Belarusian conceded 12 unforced errors in a lopsided start to the match. Sabalenka fought back, reaching five break points in a bid to lead 2-0 in the second, but Swiatek held her own serve.

Sabalenka failed to break again with Swiatek holding her nerve to save two break points on her next serve. The set progressed to 3-3 before the Pole broke twice, ensuring her victory in the tournament without dropping a set.

“I love this tournament... Ill come back stronger next year and hopefully win the trophy,” Sabalenka said as she congratulated Swiatek. “I hope we make it to the final at Roland Garros and I will get you there.”

In response, Swiatek said: “We will see about the Roland Garros final.”

The French Open starts on May 26. Reuters

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