Published: 12:13, May 15, 2024
Swiatek into Italian Open semis, to face Gauff for spot in final
By Reuters
Poland's Iga Swiatek returns the ball to United States' Madison Keys at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome on May 14, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

Two-time champion Iga Swiatek eased into the Italian Open semi-finals with a 6-1 6-3 win over 18th seed Madison Keys on Tuesday, and will face American third seed Coco Gauff for a spot in the final.

The quarter-final in Rome was a repeat of Swiatek's recent semi-final clash with America's Keys in Madrid, which ended with the same scoreline.

World number one Swiatek broke serve in the opening game, and while Keys won her next service game to love to make it 2-1, the Polish top-seed won the next four games to take the first set in 26 minutes.

Swiatek needed just one break in the second set, which gave her a 3-1 lead, and when the Pole saved four break points in the next game to hold serve, Keys' chance of a comeback ended.

United States' Madison Keys returns the ball to Poland's Iga Swiatek at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome on May 14, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

"Honestly I felt really good today, even if I knew that one or two points could change everything," Swiatek said.

ALSO READ: Swiatek outlasts Sabalenka in marathon final to win Madrid Open

"I'm glad that I served well because I think when we were kind of even in the games sometimes, I could win two points just by serving.

"It's something that doesn't happen often in my game, so today was a good day in terms of that."

USA's Coco Gauff serves to China's Zheng Qinwen during the Women's WTA Rome Open tennis tournament at Foro Italico in Rome on May 14, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

Swiatek is aiming to win her fourth title this year having already won the Qatar Open, Indian Wells and the Madrid Open.

She will face Gauff on Friday after the American beat China's Zheng Qinwen 7-6(4) 6-1 in the other quarterfinal on Tuesday.

"(Swiatek) is a tough opponent to play, especially on clay. There's a reason why she's number one," Gauff said.

China's Zheng Qinwen plays a forehand return to US's Coco Gauff during the Women's WTA Rome Open tennis tournament at Foro Italico in Rome on May 14, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

"But I feel like I'm getting better with each match. I'm really excited to play the semi-final."

READ MORE: Swiatek beats Keys, Sabalenka roars back to secure Madrid final replay

In the remaining quarter-finals on Wednesday, world number two Aryna Sabalenka will face ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko before Victoria Azarenka plays American 13th seed Danielle Collins.