Ons Jabeur will face Iga Swiatek in the Italian Open final after winning yesterday’s thrilling last four clash with Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
Tunisia’s Jabeur became the first Arab or African player to claim a WTA 1000 title with her stunning victory in Madrid, and now she has the chance to make more history against Swiatek after another glorious comeback win on centre court in Rome.
Having won the first set in fairly comfortable fashion world number seven Jabeur was clattered from pillar to post by unseeded Russian Kasatkina. Having levelled the match Kasatkina then looked a certain winner and had match point on her own serve in game 10 of the third set.
However Jabeur saved the point and won that and the next two games to book her place in the final alongside Swiatek, who looked in unstoppable form in beating Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. The win was similar to her quarter-final win over Maria Sakkari, where she came back from being a set down and behind 5-2 in the second to make the semis.
World number one Swiatek is gunning for a fifth consecutive tournament win and swatted Sabalenka aside in one hour, 16 minutes to claim her 27th win on the bounce, a tally last reached by Serena Williams in 2015.
“I’m just constantly surprising myself that I can do better and better,” Swiatek told reporters. “I feel like I actually can believe now that the sky’s the limit. That’s the fun part.”