aryna sabalenka iga swiatek

Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek set for epic rematch in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia final

TennisMay 18, 00:30
Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka are gearing up for a highly anticipated rematch at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia final in Rome this Saturday, with the match broadcast live on Sky Sports.
The two last faced off in a thrilling encounter at the Mutua Madrid Open final two weeks ago, where Swiatek edged out Sabalenka in a nail-biting 7-4, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7) victory, capturing her first title at the event.
This win improved Swiatek's head-to-head record against Sabalenka to 7-3.
Sabalenka, reflecting on the upcoming clash, said, "I think the level is there, the tennis is there, that I've got everything to get this win. I just have to focus on myself, I guess, and not rush things, wait for the right shot to finish the point."
In finals, Swiatek has a 3-1 record against Sabalenka, with victories at Stuttgart in 2022 and 2023. Sabalenka's sole triumph over Swiatek in a final came in Madrid this year.
Swiatek has the opportunity to become just the third woman in the last 15 years to achieve the Madrid-Rome double.
The Polish player, aiming for her third Rome title in four years, commented, "I'm not really thinking about the statistics or history, and it's easier that way because it makes you play more relaxed and freely. I'm going to play the best tennis I can in the final and if I take it easy step by step then it'll be better than thinking about winning."
Meanwhile, Australian Open champion Sabalenka has been managing a lower back injury sustained during her fourth-round match against Elina Svitolina in Rome.
Despite needing a lengthy medical timeout and narrowly avoiding defeat, Sabalenka has fought through the pain to reach the final. She skipped practice to focus on recovery, successfully navigating past Jelena Ostapenko and Danielle Collins in the subsequent rounds.
Sabalenka expressed gratitude for the medical support she received, saying, "I was considering retiring from the tournament. Lucky me, I had an extra day. I was doing a lot of recovery. I'm still doing lots of exercise, treatments, taking care of my lower back. It's getting better. I guess we're on the right way."
She acknowledged the dedication of the physiotherapists, adding, "It was a crazy injury. I thought, 'okay, I'm done in Rome'. But we did a great treatment, great physios. I really appreciate the physio that helped me to stay alive and actually fix the problem."
While Sabalenka is currently pain-free, she has stated that she will withdraw from the final if her injury flares up, prioritizing her participation in the upcoming French Open, which begins on May 26.
As the tennis world eagerly awaits their showdown, both Swiatek and Sabalenka are poised to deliver a captivating match, continuing their intense rivalry on the clay courts of Rome.
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