Aryna Sabalenka steamrolls in Rome

Sabalenka defeats Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets in just over an hour
Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Aryna Sabalenka was firmly in control of her Italian Open quarterfinal match from the time the first ball dropped. She served well and committed a few errors against Jelena Ostapenko. Her reward besides a resounding match win could be some famous Italian gelato which she has been craving for days.

This was going to be the battle of who succeeded at first strike tennis. Because Ostapenko had serving issues and unforced errors were present, especially in the first set, it was not meant to be for her today. Sabalenka won the match 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and twelve minutes.

Ostapenko was trying to gain footing in the match in the second set, but Sabalenka shut the door. Sabalenka served extremely well so Ostapenko only saw a handful of second serves. 25 mile per hour wind gusts did not mess with her game today though it did kick clay into her eyes several times.

Aryna Sabalenka awaits the winner of the Victoria Azarenka and Danielle Collins quarterfinal

Sabalenka's clay court game this spring has been among the highest quality we have seen from her in her career. It puts her at the forefront of conversations speculating who could dethrone Iga Swiatek in Paris later this month at the French Open.

Sabalenka awaits the winner of the Victoria Azarenka and Danielle Collins quarterfinal. She faced Collins in Madrid and ended Collins's 15-match winning streak.

Aryna Sabalenka is happy that her Ostapenko match was less physical and grueling than her Round of 16 win over Elina Svitolina. That was a three-set affair that required her to save match points while nursing a back issue that required a visit from the trainer.

Sabalenka is looking for her first Italian Open title amid crowds of adoring fans who have been firmly behind her the past two weeks. Iga Swiatek is a two-time champion and the only former champion remaining in the draw. Swiatek will face Coco Gauff in the semifinals on Thursday.

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