Swiatek wins twice in a day to set up Rome final with Pliskova

 Swiatek wins twice in a day to set up Rome final with Pliskova
ROME - Iga Swiatek warmed up for her French Open title defence with two wins in a day to set up a Internazionali BNL d’Italia final against Karolina Pliskova in Rome.

Swiatek’s quarter-final match against two-time champion Elina Svitolina was postponed due to rain on Friday but the 19-year-old made short work of her more experienced opponent with a 6-2 7-5 win to set up a semi-final clash with Coco Gauff. Swiatek then moved into her first WTA 1000 final with a convincing 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory over the 17-year-old American. 

Poland’s Swiatek, ranked 15th in the world, will be playing for a spot in the top 10 when she faces Pliskova on Sunday. Former world No 1 Pliskova, who won the 2019 tournament and finished runner-up to Simona Halep here last year after retiring with an injury, reached the final for the third straight year after beating Croatian Petra Martic 6-1 3-6 6-2.

Speaking about her opponent in the final, Czech ace Pliskova said of Swiatek: “I think she’s super tough on clay - she has a great game for clay. She makes it ugly and difficult for the opponents. “I think she was also struggling a bit this week. When you get some wins when you are matchpoint down or something, it gives you extra strength. [It] happened to me and happened to her. We have both had that match in this week.

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