Swiatek downs Gauff to reach Italian Open final

ROME  -  World number one Iga Swiatek marched into her third Italian Open final as she beat American third seed Coco Gauff 6-4 6-3 in the first semi-final on Thursday. Swiatek will face world number two Aryna Sabalenka or American 13th seed Danielle Collins in the Rome showdown on Saturday. Gauff saved two early break points in the first game and then broke Swiatek in the second for a 2-0 lead. However, the Pole hit back and then broke the U.S. Open champion at 4-4 before holding to take the first set 6-4 with a clinical backhand winner. The second set went with serve until Swiatek broke the 20-year-old to lead 3-2 and eventually booked her spot in the final where she will bid for a third Italian Open title in four years. Following her 11th straight win on clay, Swiatek could become only the third player in history to win the Madrid-Rome double after Dinara Safina in 2009 and Serena Williams in 2013.

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