WATCH: Sabalenka Almost Hits Swiatek With Powerful Smash In Rome Final

WATCH: Sabalenka Almost Hits Swiatek With Powerful Smash In Rome Final

by Nurein Ahmed

Aryna Sabalenka is one of the most powerful players on the WTA Tour, and she proved it with a point that took her opponent completely by surprise.

During the 2024 Italian Open final, Sabalenka faced top seed and World No. 1 Iga Swiatek. It was a rematch from their thrilling battle in Madrid, in which the Pole won after saving three championship points.

Swiatek was a class above Sabalenka in Rome as she won in straight sets over the Belarusian to become the third woman to lift the Madrid-Rome double. The victory was Swiatek's 14th in 15 matches in the leadup to Roland Garros.

The 22-year-old's title win was far from serene. Sabalenka is an intimidating presence on the court because of her ability to generate as much power as possible with every swing.

In the second set, one of Sabalenka's shots almost hit a frightened Swiatek. Her return from a Sabalenka serve was short, and the second seed smashed it into the ground, narrowly missing her opponent.

In the video, Swiatek lets out a scream and quickly raises her arms aloft, breathing a sigh of relief that she was not at the end of that Sabalenka missile. The second seed would immediately apologize.

The incident was eerily similar to their match in Stuttgart last season when Sabalenka's wide serve forced Swiatek to play a looping return. The World No. 2 smacked the ball with enormous power, almost taking Swiatek off the court.

Despite their intense rivalry, which Swiatek now leads 8-3 in the head-to-head, both players bantered with each other during the post-match trophy ceremony.

Sabalenka is "hoping" for one more tussle against Swiatek on clay and, ideally, in the Roland Garros final. She wants to give a better account of herself than in Rome, where her level was simply not sufficient to get a result.


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