Iga Swiatek v Ons Jabeur – Follow Italian Open final LIVE

SWIATEK 6-2 *1-0 JABEUR

After an unforced error from Jabeur, she hits a forehand winner which gets the crowd excited. Swiatek follows up with another poor forehand and Jabeur has her first break point of the match, but she squanders it with an overzealous forehand. Swiatek reels off the next two points to hold serve, but that was much better from Jabeur. She can sense Swiatek is getting a bit frustrated with some of her own shot selections.

Swiatek 'to celebrate with a lot of tiramisu' after sealing fifth straight title in Rome

Iga Swiatek’s fantastic recent run in 2022 continued in Rome as she defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2 6-2 to defend her Italian Open title.

Swiatek, a firm favourite to win this year’s French Open, broke down into tears on the clay after sealing her fifth straight title and her 28th successive win.

It is the first time the world No.1 has ever defended a title and only dropped four games en route to a convincing win in one hour and 23 minutes.

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YESTERDAY AT 11:57

Swiatek now has the longest winning streak on the WTA tour since Justine Henin got up to 32 in 2008. Swiatek has only dropped 28 games in her last eight WTA finals.

“I want to congratulate Ons because she had such a good run on the clay court,” Swiatek said in her victory speech after the match.

“You have shown fight, spirit, so much variety that it’s really nice to have you on tour. Your tennis is different and your tennis is really interesting for women’s tennis I think.

“It wasn’t easy for the whole week to play every day, but the crowd gave me so much energy that it was no nice to play here and be in Rome.

“I agree with Ons in terms of good pasta. I am going to celebrate with a lot of tiramisu. No regrets!”

Jabeur said: “I want to congratulate Iga for the great run. Her team are doing a great job. You are all a great inspiration for us so thank you.”

Swiatek’s blistering baseline play was simply too much for Jabeur, who was playing with far less variety than witnessed in previous matches this week, and the 20-year-old wrapped up the opening set in 37 minutes.

Tunisian Jabeur, who herself was on an 11-match winning run and looking to win back-to-back Masters titles, struggled to get into the game as she sunk to 0-4 in the second set.

The 27-year-old did manage a brief fightback to claw back two games, and she squandered four break points at 4-2 down to get back on serve, but Swiatek held on to secure a fine victory.

– – –

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Returning Swiatek crushes Ruse for loss of just three games

Iga Swiatek showed few signs of rustiness as she breezed past Elena-Gabriela Ruse at the Italian Open in Rome, 6-3 6-0.

The world No.1’s victory marked Swiatek’s return to action following a shoulder injury that saw her miss the Madrid Open.
She had prepared for her trip to Rome with a training camp at the Rafa Nadal Academy, and it was like she had never been away as she reasserted her position at the top of the women’s game with a dominant performance that showcased all of her customary court-craft.

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With Roland-Garros beginning in just 11 days time, it will have been a fillip for the 20-year-old to see her game in good working order as she eyes a second French Open crown to add to the one she took home in 2020.

Swiatek established a 4-1 lead in the first set at the Foro Italico as she stormed out of the blocks. But Ruse fought admirably, and converted both of her two break points to peg Swiatek back to 5-3.

However, the Pole served out the set to take the advantage.

And from there it was one-way traffic, with Swiatek taking control of the match and bagelling her opponent in the second set to secure her passage into the last-16. The fact Ruse won just one service game all match said everything about Swiatek’s ability to build pressure through her returning game.

Overall, it continued Swiatek’s remarkable 2022 which has seen her win titles in Doha, the sunshine double of Indian Wells and Miami, and Stuttgart, and this was her 24th match win in a row.

She will face Victoria Azarenka in the next round.

– – –

Stream the 2022 French Open live and on-demand on discovery+.

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Raducanu vows to return only when her back is 'fully right'

Emma Raducanu says she will only return to the WTA tour when her back is “fully right”.

Raducanu was hampered with a lower back problem in her Madrid Open last-16 exit against Anhelina Kalinina last week, and it was the same issue that forced her to retire in her opening match of the Italian Open against Bianca Andreescu on Tuesday when the British No. 1 was trailing 2-6 1-2.

The French Open gets underway on May 22, but Raducanu says she has to make sure she is fully fit if she is going to participate in upcoming tournaments.

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3 HOURS AGO

“I think the last few weeks have been really positive,” the 2021 US Open winner told the WTA Tour.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself and my game has definitely improved on this surface.

“But for sure I need to make sure my back is fully right, however long that takes. I need to just keep on it.

“I don’t want to play my next match with a feeling of limitation because I think that I learned my lesson from this week, when to push, and when not to push. Probably today wasn’t right.”

The world No. 11 admits she has to learn how to deal with the rigours of the WTA tour in her first full season.

“I thought that maybe taking one, two days off, it would just go away because a lot of the other small niggles I’ve had, they’ve kind of gone away after taking, like, two days off,” she said.

“Then I got here and I was training, but it just didn’t seem to get better.

“I was training with some limitations. I wasn’t moving really, I was just playing where I knew where the ball was coming, just staying in one corner.

“I think I must have underestimated the unpredictability of competition in a match, you have to react… Bianca is a great player. She’s not going to let up and just hit the ball to you.”

She added: “I never really knew how bad it was until I kind of went out there. I’m still learning when it’s right to push my body and push through it, and when’s not.

“I guess that’s something I’m kind of learning at these tournaments. The difference is I’m probably doing it at bigger tournaments, not smaller tournaments on the way up.”

– – –

Stream the 2022 French Open live and on-demand on discovery+

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‘I can’t move’ – Raducanu retires against Andreescu due to a back injury

A DAY AGO

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Raducanu vows to return only when her back is 'fully right'

Emma Raducanu says she will only return to the WTA tour when her back is “fully right”.

Raducanu was hampered with a lower back problem in her Madrid Open last-16 exit against Anhelina Kalinina last week, and it was the same issue that forced her to retire in her opening match of the Italian Open against Bianca Andreescu on Tuesday when the British No. 1 was trailing 2-6 1-2.

The French Open gets underway on May 22, but Raducanu says she has to make sure she is fully fit if she is going to participate in upcoming tournaments.

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‘I can’t move’ – Raducanu retires against Andreescu due to a back injury

21 HOURS AGO

“I think the last few weeks have been really positive,” the 2021 US Open winner told the WTA Tour.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself and my game has definitely improved on this surface.

“But for sure I need to make sure my back is fully right, however long that takes. I need to just keep on it.

“I don’t want to play my next match with a feeling of limitation because I think that I learned my lesson from this week, when to push, and when not to push. Probably today wasn’t right.”

The world No. 11 admits she has to learn how to deal with the rigours of the WTA tour in her first full season.

“I thought that maybe taking one, two days off, it would just go away because a lot of the other small niggles I’ve had, they’ve kind of gone away after taking, like, two days off,” she said.

“Then I got here and I was training, but it just didn’t seem to get better.

“I was training with some limitations. I wasn’t moving really, I was just playing where I knew where the ball was coming, just staying in one corner.

“I think I must have underestimated the unpredictability of competition in a match, you have to react… Bianca is a great player. She’s not going to let up and just hit the ball to you.”

She added: “I never really knew how bad it was until I kind of went out there. I’m still learning when it’s right to push my body and push through it, and when’s not.

“I guess that’s something I’m kind of learning at these tournaments. The difference is I’m probably doing it at bigger tournaments, not smaller tournaments on the way up.”

– – –

Stream the 2022 French Open live and on-demand on discovery+

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‘Really weird coincidence’ – Andreescu plays down Raducanu parallels

YESTERDAY AT 09:26

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Swiatek’s dilemma, Raducanu’s accidental swear and Shapovalov’s lesson – Rome diary

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Raducanu vows to return only when her back is 'fully right'

Emma Raducanu says she will only return to the WTA tour when her back is “fully right”.

Raducanu was hampered with a lower back problem in her Madrid Open last-16 exit against Anhelina Kalinina last week, and it was the same issue that forced her to retire in her opening match of the Italian Open against Bianca Andreescu on Tuesday when the British No. 1 was trailing 2-6 1-2.

The French Open gets underway on May 22, but Raducanu says she has to make sure she is fully fit if she is going to participate in upcoming tournaments.

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AN HOUR AGO

“I think the last few weeks have been really positive,” the 2021 US Open winner told the WTA Tour.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself and my game has definitely improved on this surface.

“But for sure I need to make sure my back is fully right, however long that takes. I need to just keep on it.

“I don’t want to play my next match with a feeling of limitation because I think that I learned my lesson from this week, when to push, and when not to push. Probably today wasn’t right.”

The world No. 11 admits she has to learn how to deal with the rigours of the WTA tour in her first full season.

“I thought that maybe taking one, two days off, it would just go away because a lot of the other small niggles I’ve had, they’ve kind of gone away after taking, like, two days off,” she said.

“Then I got here and I was training, but it just didn’t seem to get better.

“I was training with some limitations. I wasn’t moving really, I was just playing where I knew where the ball was coming, just staying in one corner.

“I think I must have underestimated the unpredictability of competition in a match, you have to react… Bianca is a great player. She’s not going to let up and just hit the ball to you.”

She added: “I never really knew how bad it was until I kind of went out there. I’m still learning when it’s right to push my body and push through it, and when’s not.

“I guess that’s something I’m kind of learning at these tournaments. The difference is I’m probably doing it at bigger tournaments, not smaller tournaments on the way up.”

– – –

Stream the 2022 French Open live and on-demand on discovery+

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‘I can’t move’ – Raducanu retires against Andreescu due to a back injury

21 HOURS AGO

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Osaka withdraws from WTA Rome with ankle injury

Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the WTA Rome due to an ankle injury.

She was due to take on Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in the opening round of the Italian Open – just over a week after the same opponent knocked her out of the Madrid Open.

Osaka says her decision not to play has been made with one eye on the French Open – which gets underway in Paris later this month.

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“Unfortunately I’m going to have to withdraw from Rome as the injury which I picked up last week in Madrid hasn’t healed yet,” Osaka announced in a statement.

“It’s an Achilles injury so I need to be careful especially in advance of Roland Garros,” she added.

The 24-year-old has not had the best of luck at the Italian Open, after having to withdraw from the competition at the quarter-final stage in 2019 with a hand injury.

However, Osaka admits she is gutted to be missing out, saying, “I love this city and always enjoy playing in front of the Italian fans so I will be sorry to miss them – but look forward to coming back next year.”

Lucky loser Nuria Parrizas Diaz will take Osaka’s place in the tournament, and the winner of her opener with Tormo could face Emma Raducanu next.

– – –

Watch the French Open live on Eurosport and discovery+.

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Osaka withdraws from WTA Rome with ankle injury

Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the WTA Rome due to an ankle injury.

She was due to take on Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in the opening round of the Italian Open – just over a week after the same opponent knocked her out of the Madrid Open.

Osaka says her decision not to play has been made with one eye on the French Open – which gets underway in Paris later this month.

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YESTERDAY AT 15:08

“Unfortunately I’m going to have to withdraw from Rome as the injury which I picked up last week in Madrid hasn’t healed yet,” Osaka announced in a statement.

“It’s an Achilles injury so I need to be careful especially in advance of Roland Garros,” she added.

Osaka – who recently said her happiness is more important than winning tennis matches – began suffering from the complaint during her opening round victory against Anastasia Potapova in the Spanish capital, before continuing to struggle as she crashed out against Tormo.

The 24-year-old has not had the best of luck at the Italian Open, after having to withdraw from the competition at the quarter-final stage in 2019 with a hand injury.

However, Osaka admits she is gutted to be missing out, saying, “I love this city and always enjoy playing in front of the Italian fans so I will be sorry to miss them – but look forward to coming back next year.”

Lucky loser Nuria Parrizas Diaz will take Osaka’s place in the tournament, and the winner of her opener with Tormo could face Emma Raducanu next.

The British No. 1 – who says she feels like a “loner” as she continues to train without a full-time coach – starts her campaign against Bianca Andreescu.

– – –

Watch the French Open live on Eurosport and discovery+.

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'I'm a loner' – Raducanu enjoying independence as she prepares for Italian Open

Emma Raducanu has called herself a “loner” as she continues to coach herself in preparation for the Italian Open in Rome.

She gets her competition underway with a clash against Bianca Andreescu, and will be encouraged by her recent displays on clay, after making the quarter-finals in Stuttgart and the last-16 in Madrid.

It will be a battle between two recent US Open winners, with reigning champion Raducanu taking on the 2019 winner.

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Raducanu ‘managing’ back issue ahead of Andreescu clash in Rome

18 HOURS AGO

Having split with coach Torben Beltz last month, the British number one is enjoying her independence after being swamped by people following her stunning victory in New York last September.

“I’d describe myself as a loner,” she said. For the past year, I’ve had a lot of people around me a lot and very often. To be on my own is interesting because I’m kind of finding out a lot about myself, understanding what I need and what I don’t need.”

Raducanu is adapting her game for different surfaces, and said “Clay is very new to me”.

“I definitely feel like I have been progressing with each week, improving, getting a better understanding of how to play points, when to stay in the point or when to stay aggressive”, she added.

Despite not having a full-time coach, the 19-year-old is happy with her progress but admits, “I don’t think I’m like the finished product at all. But, yeah, I’m heading in a good direction.”

The Lawn Tennis Association’s head of women’s tennis, Iain Bates, has been providing support for Raducanu and will continue to work with the teenager.

Rome is the final stop before she makes her first appearance at the French Open, which is the only Grand Slam she is yet to feature in since bursting onto the professional stage.

Raducanu will be hoping to build her confidence for Paris with a strong performance in Italy. She knows victory over Andreescu could set up a tantalising tie with former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka, who needs to get past Sara Sorribes-Tormo in the first round.

One slight concern for Raducanu on arrival in Rome is a back injury which she picked up in her Madrid Open defeat to Anhelina Kalinina. She says she is “managing” the problem, which she believes is due to the “intensity” of being on tour.

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