Iga Swiatek overcomes spirited Cori Gauff to reach Italian Open final
Reigning Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek booked her place in the Masters 1000 final after a straight sets victory over Cori Gauff.
The Pole won her second match of the day after ousting Elina Svitolina and continued her form against the young American with a 7-6(3) 6-3 victory.
Swiatek looked to be in control of the first set with an early break to lead 3-1, though 17-year-old Gauff came back fighting and won four of the next five games to lead 5-4.
The Pole eventually won the set on a tie-break after winning six consecutive points to swing the breaker in her favour.
The second set was a lot more convincing for the French Open champion, who was winning 69% behind her first serve and 63% behind the second.
Iga Swiatek broke Gauff twice to race into a 5-1 lead and fended off a late revival from the 17-year-old to reach Sunday’s final.
— wta (@WTA) May 15, 2021
The World No 15 has now extended her 2021 clay record to 7-1 and has lost just two of her last 20 on the surface.
Awaiting Swiatek in the final will be 2019 champion Karolina Pliskova, who reached her third successive final in the Italian capital with a three set victory over Petra Martic.
The pair are yet to meet in a competitive encounter, though did face each other last year in a charity exhibition match, which Swiatek won 6-1 6-7 10-4.
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