Iga Swiatek took the only ticket left for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2021 semifinals by defeating in two sets former Rome champion Elina Svitolina 6-2 7-5. The reigning Roland Garros champion will be facing Coco Gauff for a slot in tomorrow’s final and it feels like the future is becoming the present at the Foro Italico as the combined age of the two is just 36!
In what was the first ever official match between Swiatek and Svitolina, the Pole started strong and took a 3-0 lead. After saving a chance of the break-back for the two times Rome champion, Swiatek managed her lead comfortable and even broke her rival to love to seize the set.
Svitolina tried to roar back and took a break lead, but in the blink of an eye she found herself losing three games and trailing 4-2. For the first time in the match, the 19-year-old felt some nerves and Svitolina tied the score. The two went point on point in the next few games, but it finally was Swiatek to break the world number 6 and seize the match.
“I was practicing actually with Elina like two days ago”, had said the Roland Garros champion before her match: “I was thinking about all this time how many things changed because I remember our first practice. I was like, Whoa, I’m playing Svitolina. I hope I’m not going to ruin her practice. I just wanted to be a good sparring partner to play with. This time it was more equal because I’m a better tennis player than last years”.
And she showed it to take a comfortable win. This afternoon, she will be returning on court to face 17 years old Coco Gauff, who took advance of Ashleigh Barty’s retirement yesterday.