Iga Swiatek demolishes Karolina Pliskova with double-bagel victory in Italian Open final

The Polish star was in fine form to leave her Czech opponent without a game in Rome

Shrivathsa Sridhar
Sunday 16 May 2021 21:13
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Iga Swiatek poses with the trophy after defeating Karolina Pliskova
Iga Swiatek poses with the trophy after defeating Karolina Pliskova

French Open champion Iga Swiatek served a warning to her rivals ahead of the claycourt Grand Slam with a 6-0 6-0 demolition of former world number one Karolina Pliskova in the Italian Open final on Sunday.

The victory in 46 minutes meant the world number 15 from Poland, who shot to fame at Roland Garros last year by beating Sofia Kenin in straight sets in the final, will enter the top 10 for the first time when the new rankings are out on Monday.

Swiatek’s third title overall following triumphs at Roland Garros and Adelaide came on the back of one of the most dominant performances of the 19-year-old’s career as she dropped only 13 points against the Czech, who was the 2019 Rome champion.

She served with ruthless accuracy, winning more than 93% of points on her first serve, and converted six out of eight break point opportunities to close out the win against a frustrated Pliskova, who had no answers on the day.

It was also the first double bagel in the final of the Rome tournament and the most one-sided since Hungary’s Andrea Temesvari beat American Bonnie Gadusek 6-1 6-0 in 1983.

“You know, I’m really happy. I’m overwhelmed. At the beginning of this tournament I wouldn’t even dream of winning. It was super tough, we had to fight a lot of stuff,” Swiatek said.

“Karolina obviously had a great run here and in previous years she’s showing she’s a really consistent player so congrats for the week.”

While former world No 1 Pliskova reacted to her humbling defeat: “I mean, definitely not the best day in this tournament. I think Iga was playing great tennis today and all the week. Congratulations to her and her team.

“You have days like this in tennis where things are not going your way. That was the day today I still tried but it was just not working for me. I will just quickly forget about today. I had some great matches here. Final is always a great week, great tournament.”

The French Open will begin on May 24.

Reuters

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