Aryna Sabalenka defeated Danielle Collins 7-5 6-2 to set up yet another meeting with Iga Swiatek at the Italian Open.

Having defeated Collins en route to the final of the Madrid Open, which she lost to Swiatek, Sabalenka repeated the trick with a straight sets win over the American in Thursday's semi-final.

And the Belarusian's reward will be an immediate rematch with Swiatek.

The duo have met 10 times, including in Madrid earlier this month, with Swiatek winning seven times and Sabalenka claiming three victories.

This will be Sabalenka's first appearance in the Italian Open final.

She is the sixth player, along with Simona Halep (2017), Dinara Safina (2009), Serena Williams (2013), Ons Jabeur (2022), and Swiatek (2024) to have reached the final of both Madrid and Rome in the same season.

Data Debrief: Perfect record

Collins is the only player against whom Sabalenka has registered six wins without a loss in WTA events, while only against Maria Sakkari and Elise Mertens does she have more wins in her career in such events (seven each).

The final will mark the fourth meeting on clay between Swiatek and Sabalenka as world number one and two, equalling Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for the most meetings on the surface as the WTA's top-two ranked players.

Iga Swiatek is through to the Italian Open final for the third time after seeing off Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday.

There was little to separate the two in the opening 50 minutes as they played to 4-4 before Gauff left an opening with back-to-back double faults, and Swiatek took full advantage.

The world number one broke Gauff’s serve four times, including in the fifth game of the second set to swing the momentum firmly in her favour after one hour 48 minutes on the court.

Swiatek has now reached back-to-back WTA 1000 finals after winning the Madrid Open earlier this month and could face Aryna Sabalenka for the title once more if the Belarusian gets past Danielle Collins in the other semi-final.

Data Debrief: Unstoppable on clay

Swiatek has now won 11 consecutive matches, and registered her 10th victory over Gauff in 11 meetings between the two - she has won all four matches against the American on clay. 

Since the format’s introduction in 2009, Swiatek (40 per cent, 12/30) holds the highest percentage of finals reached from WTA-1000 main draws entered. Serena Williams (36.7 per cent, 18/49) is the next best in the format's history.

Since the WTA rankings were first published in 1975, Swiatek has become only the third player to reach multiple Italian Open finals as the WTA's number one, along with Serena Williams (three) and Monica Seles (two). She will be looking for her third Italian Open title on Saturday.

Tommy Paul reached the semi-final of the Italian Open after pulling through a rollercoaster clash with Hubert Hurkacz on Thursday.

The number 14 seed downed Hurkacz 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in the quarter-final, keeping his composure during his two hours and 43 minutes on the court.

After winning the first set, Hurkacz fought back to win the second, but the American was not out of the contest yet as he clawed back from 0-2 down early in the third.

He closed out the win in a dramatic fashion, fending off six break points while letting three of his own slip, to eventually set up a semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas or Nicolas Jerry on Friday. 

Data Debrief: Into the final four

After beating Daniil Medvedev in the previous round, Paul has now won back-to-back matches against top-10 opponents for the first time in his professional career with his victory over Hurkacz. 

Paul earned his 150th tour-level win to take him through to his third Masters 1000 semi-final, as he aims to become the first American finalist in Rome since Andre Agassi in 2002.

Alexander Zverev moved a step closer to his second Italian Open title with a hard-fought 6-4 6-3 quarter-final win over Taylor Fritz, overcoming an injury scare en route to the last four.

Zverev – who triumphed on the clay in Rome back in 2017 – produced a dominant serving performance against another heavy hitter in Fritz, but only after an awkward fall early on.

The German sought medical attention after falling on his stomach in the third service game of the match, the slip leaving him bleeding from both hands. 

However, he soon shook off that knock and did not allow Fritz a single break point in a deeply impressive display, setting up a semi-final meeting with Chile's Alejandro Tabilo – the conqueror of Novak Djokovic – for Friday.

Data Debrief: Zverev gathering momentum

Zverev, the lone former champion remaining in the men's draw, is surely the favourite to win a tournament characterised by unfortunate withdrawals and shock defeats for the biggest names.

Seven of Zverev's 21 tour-level titles have come on clay, and he is yet to drop a single set in Rome this year. His three-year wait for an ATP 1000 title could soon be over.

Aryna Sabalenka is through to her second Italian Open semi-final after a straight-sets victory over Jelena Ostapenko on Wednesday.

The Belarusian, who recovered from a lower back injury sustained in her previous match against Elina Svitolina, breezed through 6-2, 6-4 after just 72 minutes on the court.

Sabalenka broke her serve in the third and fifth games, with Ostapenko opening the door with two double faults, while a single break in the seventh game settled the second set.

The second seed almost let it slip with her only double fault but came back with two big serves to close out the win.

Sabalenka will face Danielle Collins or Victoria Azarenka in the semi-final on Friday. 

Data Debrief: Top 10

Sabalenka (10) has become only the second player to reach 10 or more WTA-1000 semi-finals since the start of the 2020 season, along with Iga Swiatek (16).

With Sabalenka joining Swiatek and Coco Gauff, it is the first time the WTA’s top three players have reached the semi-final at the same WTA event since Roland Garros in 2013 – excluding the WTA Tour Finals.

Sabalenka has spent the most time out on the court in WTA clay events in 2024, with this match bringing her up to 25 hours and 34 minutes.

 

Coco Gauff will have the chance to down world number one Iga Swiatek after progressing to the Italian Open semi-finals with Tuesday's victory over Qinwen Zheng.

The 20-year-old breezed into the last-four draw in Rome after her straight-sets victory over Zheng, winning 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

Gauff faced just one break point throughout the match, failing to hold her serve at 5-3 up as seven-seed Zhen battled back in the first set.

Yet Gauff eased through the tie-break and never looked back from there on, teeing up a meeting with Swiatek, who overcame Madison Keys in straight sets in her quarter-final clash.

Data Debrief: Young Gauff powers on

No player has won more matches than Gauff (61) in WTA-1000 events before turning 21, since the introduction of the format in 2009, as the American moved past Caroline Wozniacki (60) with victory here.

Wozniacki (eight) is also the only player to manage more WTA-1000 semi-final appearances before her 21th birthday, with Gauff's last-four qualification here taking her onto six – one ahead of Swiatek.

Tommy Paul stunned defending champion Daniil Medvedev at the Italian Open on Tuesday.

Paul needed just one hour and 13 minutes to down Medvedev 6-1 6-4 to secure his first victory over a top-20 opponent and reach the quarter-finals.

Medvedev could not get going from the start, and was broken in all three of his service games in the opening set as Paul cruised into the lead.

And even after a brief resurgence at the start of the second set, Medvedev could not prevent his opponent from reeling off four successive games to pave the way for a memorable win.

Paul, who is into his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final on clay, will face Hubert Hurkacz for a place in the last four.

Data Debrief: Zverev brings up 10th Masters QF

While Medvedev crashed out, Alexander Zverev had no such trouble, as he claimed a straight sets win over Nuno Borges.

Zverev has now equalled Michael Chang in 10th place for the most quarter-finals made (28) in ATP Masters 1000 events since the format's introduction in 1990.

Former US Open champion Dominic Thiem will have to fight for his place at the French Open after missing out on Tuesday's wild-card invitations.

Thiem will retire later this year due to a persistent wrist injury that has derailed his career but will likely need to battle through the qualifying rounds to appear at Roland Garros for a final time.

The two-time French Open semi-finalist is currently six places away from a main-draw spot for the upcoming major, with Richard Gasquet among the eight male players to secure a wild-card invitation.

Frenchman Gasquet will equal Feliciano Lopez's 21 tournaments at Roland Garros, the joint-most appearances of any player in the Open Era.

In the women's tournament, world number 99 Alize Cornet was also invited on a wild-card pick and will appear in a women's singles grand slam main draw for the 72nd time in her career.

That is the third most in the Open Era for major appearances, behind only Venus Williams (93) and Serena Williams (81).

Iga Swiatek soared through to the Italian Open semi-finals following a dominant straight-sets victory over Madison Keys.

The world number one took just 76 minutes to wrap up a commanding 6-1 6-3 win - matching the scoreline which saw her overcome the American in the Madrid Open last four a fortnight ago.

Swiatek broke her opponent four times and saved all 10 break points she faced on the way to setting up a semi-final showdown with either Coco Gauff or Qinwen Zheng.

Yet to drop a set this week, the Pole remains on course to complete a hat-trick of titles in Rome and land her fourth silverware of 2024, in which she now boasts a 36-4 record.

Data debrief

Reaching her 16th WTA 1000 semi-final from 30 main draws entered, Swiatek (53.3 per cent) surpasses Serena Williams (53.1 per cent, 26 from 49) for the highest rate of last-four appearances in such tournaments since the format's introduction in 2009.

The Pole also took her tally of WTA match wins on clay to 75 from 85, with only Monica Seles, Nancy Richey (both 80), Chris Evert (81) and Margaret Court (82) reaching that figure on surface in fewer matches during the Open Era.

Daniil Medvedev had to dig deep to overcome Hamad Medjedovic at the Italian Open on Monday and stay in with a chance of retaining his title.

Medvedev came out on top with a 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 7-5 victory, but was made to work hard to avoid a third-round upset.

After enduring an up-and-down opening two sets in which he hit 10 double faults, Medvedev rallied into a lead before holding off Medjedovic’s fight-back.

The second seed remained composed to break in the match’s final game to advance after two hours and 50 minutes.

Medvedev will now play Tommy Paul in the next round on Tuesday, with the American seeing off Dominik Koepfer 6-4, 6-3.

Data Debrief: Reigning champion fights on

Medvedev has reached the last 16 at all 5 Masters 1000 events this season, with only Alexander Zverev able to match that distinction.

It was not an easy ride for him though, as Medjedovic wanted to prove a point against his first Top 10 opponent in what was his first Masters 1000 third round.

Two-time Italian Open champion Iga Swiatek advanced to the quarter-finals of this year's tournament with an impressive 7-5 6-3 win over Angelique Kerber on Monday.

Three-time grand slam winner Kerber provided Swiatek with a real step up after routine victories over Bernarda Pera and Yulia Putintseva in the first two rounds on the clay in Rome.

Kerber responded to Swiatek's first break – which came in the eighth game – with one of her own, but the world number one then recaptured her composure to force a series of break points in Kerber's next two service games, finally converting at the eighth attempt to take the opener. 

Kerber refused to go away, breaking straight back in the first game of the second set, but Swiatek upped her game to take the contest away from the 36-year-old.

Swiatek dropped just three further points on her own serve from there, adding three breaks of her own to set up a last-eight meeting with Madison Keys for Tuesday. 

Data Debrief: Swiatek unmatched on clay

While Kerber rolled back the years to trouble Swiatek early on, she lacked the staying power to live with the world number one in longer rallies on a surface where she is truly unmatched. 

Her win ratio at clay-court events at WTA 1000-level now stands at 88.2 per cent (30 wins, four defeats), the best of any player to have played a minimum of five matches since the format's 2009 introduction, ahead of Serena Williams at 88 per cent. 

Naomi Osaka's promising Italian Open run was halted by Zheng Qinwen on Monday, as the seventh seed denied the four-time grand slam champion a quarter-final place.

Following Saturday's triumph over Daria Kasatkina – her second successive straight-sets win over a top-20 opponent in Rome – Osaka laughed off the "Clayomi" moniker given to her by some fans.

On Monday, her old troubles on the surface came back to the fore as Zheng dominated from the off to make the tournament's last eight for a second straight year, winning 6-2 6-4.

Osaka saw her serve broken in the very first game only to hit straight back, but Zheng assumed control by taking seven straight games to go from 2-1 down in the opener to 2-0 up in the second set.

The 21-year-old produced a clinical performance and converted all four of her break points, winning 78 per cent of first-serve points to Osaka's 68 per cent as she teed up a quarter-final clash with either Coco Gauff or Paula Badosa.

Data Debrief: 'Clayomi' no more as Zheng triumphs

Osaka impressed on a surface long regarded as her worst in Italy, but it was a bridge too far for her on Monday, Zheng reaching her fourth WTA 1000 quarter-final.

Since the format's introduction in 2009, she is just the second Asian player to reach multiple quarter-finals on both hardcourts and clay at that level before the age of 23, the other being Osaka.

Novak Djokovic lamented his dismal showing as Alejandro Tabilo profited from the world number one's "completely off" performance to triumph at the Italian Open.

Tabilo stunned Djokovic with a straight-sets victory in the third round on Sunday, winning 6-2, 6-3 in his maiden ATP Tour clash with the Serbian.

The Chilean advances to the fourth round at a Masters 1000 event for just the second time after Indian Wells in 2023, with Djokovic unable to explain his struggles in Rome.

"I just wasn't able to find any kind of good feelings on the court, to be honest, striking the ball. I was completely off," he said.

A six-time champion in Rome, the 36-year-old won his opening-round match at the ATP Masters 1000 event against Corentin Moutet.

However, Djokovic was inadvertently hit on the head by a falling water bottle when leaving the court after that victory.

Whether that incident impacted his performance against Tabilo remains to be seen.

"I don't know, to be honest. I have to check that," he said. "Training was different. I was going for [a] kind of easy training yesterday.

"I didn't feel anything, but I also didn't feel the same. Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance.

"Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago. Could be. I don't know. I have to do medical checkups and see what's going on."

Tabilo's next opponent will be Karen Khachanov, who saw off Francisco Cerundolo 6-2, 6-4, while Djokovic is made to wait for his 1100th match win.

Novak Djokovic is out of the Italian Open after a straight-sets defeat by Alejandro Tabilo in the third round on Sunday.

Tabilo recorded the biggest win of his career with a dominant performance, winning 6-2, 6-3 in his maiden ATP Tour clash with the Serbian.

Djokovic, who was hit on the head by a water bottle following his second-round win over Corentin Moutet, struggled to get going as he saw his serve broken four times.

Tabilo clinched the opening set in style, making few errors, and Djokovic failed to mount a comeback in the second, with double faults costing him at key moments, including one on the final break serve.

The Chilean advances to the fourth round at a Masters 1000 event for just the second time after Indian Wells in 2023. His next opponent will be Karen Khachanov, who saw off Francisco Cerundolo 6-2, 6-4. 

Data Debrief: Big winner

Tabilo is the second player from Chile to defeat the World No.1 in ATP-1000 events after Fernando Gonzalez, who defeated Lleyton Hewitt at the Hamburg Masters in 2003, since the introduction of the format in 1990.

He is also the first Chilean to defeat a World No. 1 since Fernando Gonzalez beat Roger Federer at the 2007 Nitto ATP Finals Round Robin.

Djokovic, meanwhile, is made to wait for his 1100th match win.

Aryna Sabalenka dominated Dayana Yastremska to reach the fourth round of the Italian Open on Sunday.

Sabalenka, who claimed Australian Open glory for the second time earlier this year without dropping a set, eased to a 6-4 6-2 victory over Yastremska.

Yastremska headed into the third-round contest having beaten Sabalenka in all three of their previous meetings, but the world number two found a crucial break of serve in the seventh game of the opening set before going on to hold twice more to take the ascendancy.

Yastremska's resolve was broken further in an epic third game of the second set, surviving six break points before Sabalenka finally got over the line to tighten her grip on the match.

Sabalenka didn't look back from there, breaking Yastremska again before going on to seal her place in the fourth round.

Sabalenka will take on either Sara Errani or Anna Kalinskaya in the fourth round as she looks to win the Italian Open for the first time ahead of the French Open later this month, where she will bid to improve on her semi-final appearance last year.

Data debrief

Since 2018, when Sabalenka achieved her first WTA 1000 win, she is now the player with the joint-most wins in such events (90, equalling Iga Swiatek).

Sabalenka may have lost her three previous games against Yastremska, but the last meeting between the pair was in 2020, and the two-time grand slam champion showed how much her game has progressed since then as she won all nine of her service games while breaking her Ukrainian opponent three times on her way to victory.

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