Aryna Sabalenka secures spot in Rome Open final defeating Danielle Collins

Thursday, 16 May 2024 at 23:46
Aryna Sabalenka (No. 2) defeated Danielle Collins (No. 15) 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the final of the Rome Open. The two-time Grand Slam champion was superior to her opponent for much of the match, winning 11 out of her 12 clay matches this season.
The Belarusian reached her 8th WTA final and will seek revenge from last week's final at the Madrid Open against No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek. Just like in Madrid, Sabalenka overcame Collins, this time being much superior to her opponent and will play her fourth final of the year.

Sabalenka's strong start

From the start of the first set, Sabalenka looked better in the baseline exchanges. After both players held their opening service games, the Belarusian saved a break point against her and capitalized on Collins' service errors to take the break and lead 4-1.
The former world No. 1 was unable to hold her serve in the next game, and Collins showed glimpses of her best tennis by winning three consecutive games to level the score at 4-4. Nevertheless, the American seemed much more inaccurate and less explosive than in her previous matches.
Sabalenka maintained her level of play from the service line and before the tie-break arrived, she created a couple of opportunities and secured the set point at a crucial moment to take the first set 7-5.
Aryna Sabalenka at Madrid Open
The second set definitively tilted in favor of the Belarusian after she broke serve in her first opportunity. In just 10 minutes, Sabalenka led the set 3-0 and Collins seemed resigned to the superiority of her opponent.
The lead in the score only confirmed Sabalenka's dominance in the match. Although both players dropped their level in the second set, the two-times Australian Open champion was never in trouble against Collins. With a 5-2 advantage, Collins, who seemed already defeated, played a weak service game that ultimately handed the decisive break to her opponent. The victory ended 7-5, 6-2 for Sabalenka in an hour and 25 minutes, securing her 28th WTA final and 8th in WTA 1000 tournaments.
For the second consecutive tournament, the final will feature the world No. 1 and No. 2 battling for the title. Two weeks ago, Swiatek saved match points to claim the Madrid Open title. Currently, Swiatek leads the head-to-head 7-3 (4-1 on clay).

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