Iga Swiatek's epic win against Aryna Sabalenka marks another step in a great rivalry

With Rome's final, the best WTA players have reached 11 matches played against each other.
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Iga Swiatek has been crowned Rome champion after a consistent win 6-2, 6-3 against Aryna Sabalenka. The Polish star achieved her third title in Rome in the last four years, a remarkable feat considering the last player to do that was Serena Williams in the period between 2013 and 2016. On the other hand, Sabalenka achieved her first finals appearance in the Italian Masters, just after reaching the same instance in Madrid.

The fight for the No.1 spot in the women's tour has been fierce since last year. Iga had a 75-week streak at the top when Sabalenka took the top ranking after reaching the final at the US Open. Still, at the end of the year, Swiatek accomplished a huge run winning the WTA Finals and getting back to the top. After back-to-back finals in Madrid and Rome, it is very reasonable to expect both players to engage in the same battle this year.

Roland Garros is just around the corner, and the players are very conscious about it. Sabalenka in her speech after losing to Swiatek in Rome stated "I hope we’re gonna make it to the final of Roland Garros and I’m gonna get you there. Just kidding." This declaration by Sabalenka not only takes for granted another final between both but also shows her desire for revenge, clear signals of an established rivalry.

Iga Swiatek versus Aryna Sabalenka is the rivalry to watch on the WTA tour

The two current best world players have reached 11 matches played against each other. Swiatek is up 8-3, which shows a considerable edge against Sabalenka. Anyway, the star from Belarus is up 2-1 in WTA Finals games, plus a recent duel in Madrid was a hard-fought three-set thriller. The only contest between them in Grand Slams dates back to the 2022 US Open semifinal, where Swiatek took the game in three sets as well.

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The stage at Roland Garros is set for the first Grand Slam final meeting between the two leaders of the women's tour. The current ranking leaves Swiatek with a solid advantage to hold world No.1, but if Sabalenka claims the title she can significantly cut the distance to the top.

Iga Swiatek is just about to reach 23 years old at the end of May. Sabalenka has just celebrated her 26th birthday a couple of weeks ago, which means both players have a lot of time to keep showing their talent on the court. A new great rivalry has appeared in women's tennis, and hopefully, it will continue for a long time.

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