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The numbers behind Iga Swiatek's historic Rome triumph

Sports Mole looks at the numbers behind Iga Swiatek's historic triumph over Aryna Sabalenka in the final of the Italian Open.

Iga Swiatek's clay dominance refuses to wane ahead of the eagerly-anticipated French Open, as the world number one demolished Aryna Sabalenka in Saturday's Italian Open final.

The two best female players on the planet reunited just one week on from an epic encounter in the Madrid Open, which Swiatek just edged in three, but the Pole was a much more convincing victor in Rome.

With just one hour and 29 minutes on the board, an unyielding Swiatek stormed to a 6-2 6-3 victory over the world number two, who simply had no answer to the 22-year-old's all-around supremacy, sharing the same fate as Swiatek's previous Rome victims Coco Gauff, Madison Keys, Bernarda Pera, Angelique Kerber and Yulia Putintseva.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at the key numbers behind Swiatek's latest top-level triumph on her beloved clay surface.


21

Iga Swiatek poses with the trophy after winning the Italian Open on May 18, 2024© Reuters

Swiatek's success in Rome means that the 22-year-old is now just one title away from matching her age, as she had now taken home 21 WTA Tour titles from just 25 finals, winning each of her last eight championship matches.

With 21 victories to her name, Swiatek is now officially the most successful Polish tennis player in terms of titles won, having matched Agnieszka Radwanska's 20 in Madrid earlier this month.

Not since last year's Madrid Open - where Sabalenka was coincidentally her conqueror - has Swiatek been forced to accept the runners-up prize, and she now has four top-level titles to boast for the 2024 season, more than any other player.

Nine of the Pole's 21 WTA Tour successes have been won on clay, and her beating of Sabalenka saw her become a three-time Italian Open champion following successes in 2021 and 2022, although she has to come up trumps twice more to match Chris Evert's women's record of five.

In addition, Swiatek is now a 10-time Masters champion, becoming the youngest player to hit double figures at WTA 1000 level since the series' introduction in 2009, just 12 days before her 23rd birthday.


8

The in-game statistics spoke for themselves on Saturday, as Swiatek dominated Sabalenka on serve and returning, only committing a mere eight unforced errors throughout the duration of the final.

While the 22-year-old also made a relatively unremarkable 11 winners, she both forced Sabalenka into mistakes and let the Belarusian do her job for her; the world number two hit 18 winners but also committed 28 unforced errors.

As Swiatek broke Sabalenka four times from seven chances en route to Rome stardom, the world number one faced seven break points behind her own serve, but she brilliantly saved all seven of them.

Five of those missed opportunities for Sabalenka came in Swiatek's opening service game in the second set, and after another two passed her by in the fourth game, the Belarusian could not muster up a response to the Pole's prowess.


4335

While there is no questioning Swiatek's status as the undisputed world number one, the Pole's points total in the Race to the WTA Finals rankings is staggering - 4,335 to be exact.

The Italian Open champion is almost 800 points clear of closest challenger Elena Rybakina - the former Rome holder who withdrew from this year's competition due to illness - while Sabalenka is further back in third position.

During her runners-up speech, Sabalenka humorously quipped that she would do her utmost to enact revenge on Swiatek at Roland-Garros, but the way the current French Open champion is going about her business on clay, that will be a tall order for any foe.


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