Tennis-Swiatek demolishes Pliskova to claim Rome crown


Tennis - WTA Premier 5 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 16, 2021 Poland's Iga Swiatek celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

(Reuters) -French Open champion Iga Swiatek served a warning to her rivals ahead of the claycourt Grand Slam with a 6-0 6-0 demolition of former world number one Karolina Pliskova in the Italian Open final on Sunday.

The victory in 46 minutes meant the world number 15 from Poland, who shot to fame at Roland Garros last year by beating Sofia Kenin in straight sets in the final, will enter the top 10 for the first time when the new rankings are out on Monday.

Swiatek's third title overall following triumphs at Roland Garros and Adelaide came on the back of one of the most dominant performances of the 19-year-old's career as she dropped only 13 points against the Czech, who was the 2019 Rome champion.

"I'm really happy to win this tournament in Rome, it's been a tough week from the beginning," said Swiatek, who won her quarter-final and semi-final matches in straight sets on Saturday after they were postponed due to rain.

"I'm really happy I got through everything and I was really focused today, so I'm proud of myself. Now I've finally earned some tiramisu."

She served with ruthless accuracy, winning more than 93% of points on her first serve, and converted six out of eight break point opportunities to close out the win against a frustrated Pliskova, who had no answers on the day.

It was also the first double bagel in the final of the Rome tournament and the most one-sided since Hungary's Andrea Temesvari beat American Bonnie Gadusek 6-1 6-0 in 1983.

The French Open begins on May 30.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)

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