Swiatek, Sabalenka & Co: the WTA Tour makes men's tennis boring

The rivalry between the Polish and the Belarusian and the other girls is entertaining the crowds with crazy matches: in contrast to the ATP Tour...

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Swiatek, Sabalenka & Co: the WTA Tour makes men's tennis boring
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Iga Swiatek will once again be the finalist of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, in Rome, for the third time in her career. The Pole could become the first player since Serena Williams in 2013 to win the Madrid and Rome tournaments back to back.
The 22-year-old reached the 25th final of her career by beating Coco Gauff with a score of 6-4 6-3, reaching a tournament final for the umpteenth time without conceding any sets to her opponents. And who will be her opponent? Obviously Aryna Sabalenka! The Belarusian player, despite the physical problems suffered at the beginning of the tournament, reached the final by beating Danielle Collins with a score of 7-5 6-2, at the end of a very good match by both tennis players. After the exciting final of the Mutua Madrid Open, Iga and Sabalenka will once again compete for the title of one of the most important and prestigious events of the Tour, finally giving the continuity that the WTA Tour needed.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka © Getty Images Sport - Mike Hewitt

But not only Swiatek and Sabalenka. The WTA Tour has many protagonists, all ready to challenge Iga and Aryna. If clay-court is a land of conquest for Swiatek, from the grass-swing there will be a lot to enjoy. Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina, but also Danielle Collins, who is playing a simply crazy last season before retirement. It is not blasphemy to say that at the moment the WTA Tour is more fun and thriving than the uncertainties of men's tennis.

"I'm definitely excited and happy for the tournament. I had a lot of fun playing today too. I'm proud of myself. If I felt that way, I wouldn't play so well because I always try to remind myself that I shouldn't expect anything or take anything for granted. Usually when I feel like I'm going to win a match, that doesn't happen. I have to think a little differently to be more efficient. Madrid? Honestly, I haven't had much time to analyze and think about it. It's like when you win a tournament and immediately go somewhere else. Sometimes it's hard to really think about the past when you constantly have to focus on the future.

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

I think that match gave me the confidence that I can win even if I don't feel my best or I'm stressed at the beginning. Maybe I'm less worried before matches because I know that even if I find myself in difficulty, I will be able to recover if I work hard. The challenge with Sabalenka? I don't think it makes sense to think of these two matches as one story, because the tournament is completely different. And even the week is different. I will try to think about the present, without thinking about Madrid. Obviously I have to analyze the match from a tactical point of view. Not too much, also because it was quite close. I think we both could have done some things better. It will be a completely different story," explained Swiatek at the press conference after winning against Gauff.

Sabalenka, after beating Collins, analyzed: "I'm super happy to have reached my first final in Rome. I think I played really good tennis today. I'm happy to have won in straight sets against a player like Danielle. After Madrid, I didn't feel well. I didn't feel well and then I also got injured. Getting to the final was a surprise. During the match with Svitolina I had a back problem and I played with pain. I am very proud to have won in those conditions. I was thinking of withdrawing from the tournament. Luckily I had an extra day to recover.

I'm still doing a lot of treatments and I always take care of my lower back. My condition is improving and we are on the right track. I'm doing everything I can to recover as quickly as possible and be ready for Paris. Right now I feel great and I have no pain during matches. The defeat against Swiatek in Madrid hurt me, it was really tough, especially after having match points. I hope I can win and take the title in Rome. If I had more match points, I would play them more aggressively."

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka © Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene