Iga Swiatek is through to the Italian Open final for the third time after seeing off Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday.

There was little to separate the two in the opening 50 minutes as they played to 4-4 before Gauff left an opening with back-to-back double faults, and Swiatek took full advantage.

The world number one broke Gauff’s serve four times, including in the fifth game of the second set to swing the momentum firmly in her favour after one hour 48 minutes on the court.

Swiatek has now reached back-to-back WTA 1000 finals after winning the Madrid Open earlier this month and could face Aryna Sabalenka for the title once more if the Belarusian gets past Danielle Collins in the other semi-final.

Data Debrief: Unstoppable on clay

Swiatek has now won 11 consecutive matches, and registered her 10th victory over Gauff in 11 meetings between the two - she has won all four matches against the American on clay. 

Since the format’s introduction in 2009, Swiatek (40 per cent, 12/30) holds the highest percentage of finals reached from WTA-1000 main draws entered. Serena Williams (36.7 per cent, 18/49) is the next best in the format's history.

Since the WTA rankings were first published in 1975, Swiatek has become only the third player to reach multiple Italian Open finals as the WTA's number one, along with Serena Williams (three) and Monica Seles (two). She will be looking for her third Italian Open title on Saturday.

Novak Djokovic lamented his dismal showing as Alejandro Tabilo profited from the world number one's "completely off" performance to triumph at the Italian Open.

Tabilo stunned Djokovic with a straight-sets victory in the third round on Sunday, winning 6-2, 6-3 in his maiden ATP Tour clash with the Serbian.

The Chilean advances to the fourth round at a Masters 1000 event for just the second time after Indian Wells in 2023, with Djokovic unable to explain his struggles in Rome.

"I just wasn't able to find any kind of good feelings on the court, to be honest, striking the ball. I was completely off," he said.

A six-time champion in Rome, the 36-year-old won his opening-round match at the ATP Masters 1000 event against Corentin Moutet.

However, Djokovic was inadvertently hit on the head by a falling water bottle when leaving the court after that victory.

Whether that incident impacted his performance against Tabilo remains to be seen.

"I don't know, to be honest. I have to check that," he said. "Training was different. I was going for [a] kind of easy training yesterday.

"I didn't feel anything, but I also didn't feel the same. Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance.

"Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago. Could be. I don't know. I have to do medical checkups and see what's going on."

Tabilo's next opponent will be Karen Khachanov, who saw off Francisco Cerundolo 6-2, 6-4, while Djokovic is made to wait for his 1100th match win.

Novak Djokovic is out of the Italian Open after a straight-sets defeat by Alejandro Tabilo in the third round on Sunday.

Tabilo recorded the biggest win of his career with a dominant performance, winning 6-2, 6-3 in his maiden ATP Tour clash with the Serbian.

Djokovic, who was hit on the head by a water bottle following his second-round win over Corentin Moutet, struggled to get going as he saw his serve broken four times.

Tabilo clinched the opening set in style, making few errors, and Djokovic failed to mount a comeback in the second, with double faults costing him at key moments, including one on the final break serve.

The Chilean advances to the fourth round at a Masters 1000 event for just the second time after Indian Wells in 2023. His next opponent will be Karen Khachanov, who saw off Francisco Cerundolo 6-2, 6-4. 

Data Debrief: Big winner

Tabilo is the second player from Chile to defeat the World No.1 in ATP-1000 events after Fernando Gonzalez, who defeated Lleyton Hewitt at the Hamburg Masters in 2003, since the introduction of the format in 1990.

He is also the first Chilean to defeat a World No. 1 since Fernando Gonzalez beat Roger Federer at the 2007 Nitto ATP Finals Round Robin.

Djokovic, meanwhile, is made to wait for his 1100th match win.

Rafael Nadal is out of the Italian Open after he was defeated in straight sets by Hubert Hurkacz in Rome on Saturday.

Nadal is a 10-time Italian Open champion, but his chances of an 11th and likely final title in Rome were ended in ruthless fashion by Hurkacz, who dominated on his way to a comfortable 6-1 6-3 triumph.

While Nadal held in his first service game of the second-round match, Hurkacz quickly took over and broke his 37-year-old opponent twice as he controlled the opening set.

Nadal showed some resolve in the second set, but a break of his serve in the third game left him with an uphill battle.

World number nine Hurkacz was in charge, and it was a position of control he would not relinquish as he broke Nadal once more to clinch victory.

Hurkacz will now take on Tomas Martin Etcheverry as he bids to reach the fourth round for the maiden time in Rome. For Nadal, who has indicated he will retire after the 2024 season, this will not have been how he wished to bow out in Rome as he prepares for the start of the French Open later this month.

Data debrief

Hurkacz became just the third player to concede fewer than five games en route to victory over Nadal on clay at ATP level, along with Olivier Rochus (Mallorca round of 16 2002) and Gaston Gaudio (Hamburg round of 16 2003).

Hurkacz dominated his contest with Nadal, winning all eight of his service games and breaking the 22-time grand slam champion on four occasions as he eased into the fourth round.

Novak Djokovic made a winning return to the ATP Tour as he overcame a tough opener in Rome with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Corentin Moutet on Friday.

The Serbian, who has not played since the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo, made a slow start, falling 1-3 behind in the first set, but recovered to take the first match.

Moutet could not regain his level, and Djokovic dropped only one set as he cruised through the second match to advance after one hour and 26 minutes.

Djokovic, a six-time champion in Rome, will take on Alejandro Tabilo in the third round after the Chilean beat Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

Data Debrief: Still on top

Djokovic now has 23 wins in ATP-1000 events since turning 35. He eclipses John Isner (22) for the outright second most wins in such tournaments since the introduction of the format in 1990; only Federer, with 51, has more.

The Serbian will have the opportunity to clinch his 1100th match win in the third round as he chases his first trophy of the season. 

Rafael Nadal fought back from a slow start to defeat Belgian qualifier Zizou Bergs 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in his opening match at the Italian Open.

Nadal endured a poor first set, losing five of the last six games, but turned things around in impressive style, spending two hours and 47 minutes on the court on Thursday.

The 10-time Italian Open champion saved all five break points he faced in the second and third sets to take key points and earn a seventh win of the season.

Nadal is competing in his third consecutive tour-level event after missing most of last year due to a hip injury that required surgery before his comeback was halted by a muscle tear in January.

"That was not my best match, I was practising better than I played today, but I found a way to win," he said after the match.

"That’s so important at the beginning of the tournament. My game is more unpredictable than before. I didn’t play much tennis for the last two years, so have some ups and downs, on and off, but I think I can do much better than today and I hope to do it next round."

The Spaniard will face seventh-seeded Hubert Hurkacz in the second round.

Data Debrief:

Nadal had only lost one of his previous 18 opening-round matches in Rome before Thursday and avoided adding to that tally in his final appearance at the tournament.

He has the most wins at the Foro Italico (70), where he first claimed the title on his debut in 2005.

Jannik Sinner says that he is aiming to make a return for Roland-Garros if he is "100 per cent" fit following a hip issue.

The world number two withdrew from the Madrid Open last week ahead of his quarter-final tie with Felix Auger-Aliassime due to the injury.

Sinner confirmed on Saturday that he will not be playing in what would be a home tournament in Rome.

Providing an update on his progress on Sunday, Sinner said: "I went back to Monte-Carlo, we did some more tests, which made me take this hard decision because I have to skip the most special tournament of the year for me.

"I have to accept it even if it hurts me and many fans. We realised something is not totally good. If it is not 100 per cent healed, I'll stay out a little longer. Caring for the body is much more important than everything else.

"I’ll just try to get back to 100 per cent as soon as possible, hopefully trying to play in Paris and then Wimbledon and all the rest.

"We'll take our time, there's no rush and, hopefully, I can get back very, very soon."

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic could meet in the Italian Open final after being positioned on opposite sides of the draw.

Nadal, a record 10-time champion at the tournament, could meet reigning champion Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals should they both get that far, while newly crowned Madrid Open winner, Andrey Rublev, would be a potential semi-final opponent.

In the top half of the draw, Djokovic will take on either Roman Safiullin or a qualifier in his first competitive appearance since Monte Carlo.

The Serbian, who is just two wins away from his 1100th tour-level career victory, is seeded to face Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals. Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov are also on their side of the draw.

Meanwhile, top seed Iga Swiatek has been drawn in the opposite half of the draw to Elena Rybakina, the reigning Italian Open champion.

Swiatek is projected to face Coco Gauff in the semi-finals for the second consecutive WTA 1000 event should they both progress.

Rybakina is due to meet second seed Aryna Sabalenka at the same stage, having lost to the Belarusian at last week’s Madrid Open semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic became the oldest winner of the Internazionali d'Italia men's singles title in the Open Era as he fended off Stefanos Tsitsipas on the clay in Rome.

The world number one said he played a "perfect set" to race through the opener, before coming from a break down in the second to earn a 6-0 7-6 (7-5) victory in Sunday's final.

Djokovic made it a record-extending 38th Masters 1000 title in what was his 55th final at this level, and it was his sixth triumph at this event in the Italian capital.

At 34 years, 11 months and 23 days old, Djokovic is 10 days older than the previous oldest Rome champion, Rafael Nadal, who took the title last year.

He boosted his head-to-head record to 7-2 against Greek star Tsitsipas, winning their last six matches and all five they have contested on clay, including last year's French Open final where Djokovic came from two sets behind to scoop the grand slam. This victory clearly augurs well for Djokovic's upcoming title defence in Paris.

Djokovic broke serve to love in the opening game, Tsitsipas swatting a volley into the net to hand over the early advantage and set the tone for a wildly one-sided set.

Tsitsipas broke to lead 3-1 in the second set and he served for it at 5-3 but was broken to 15, sending a forehand wide on game point. The tie-break that soon followed was hard fought, with Tsitsipas looping a backhand long on match point as Serbian Djokovic earned the trophy once again.

Reflecting on his fast start, and his first title of 2022, Djokovic said on Amazon Prime: "I pleasantly surprised myself, I can say, even though I had a clear game plan and strategy coming into the match. I knew what to expect from the other side so I knew what I had to do, but I did play a perfect set, no doubt about it.

"After that it was a little bit tight, the beginning of the second for me. He used it, and at this level one or two points can turn a match around and he was back in the game. At 4-1 up for him and 30-40, the match could have easily gone into a third set, but I somehow managed to find the right shots at the right time to come back in the game, and the tie-breaker, I guess I was just an inch better, maybe calmer, and it was a tight tie-break for both of us."

Ahead of the French Open, which gets under way next Sunday, Djokovic is feeling in great shape for his title defence. Having missed the Australian Open in January in a deportation drama, Djokovic will head to Paris as a major rival to teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz.

Should Djokovic triumph at Roland Garros, he would match Nadal's men's record of 21 grand slams.

"I've been building my form in the last couple of weeks and like the previous years I knew that my best shape on clay was usually coming around Rome time," Djokovic said.

"So it couldn't be a better time, coming into Roland Garros with a title at this wonderful tournament. I'm going to Paris with a lot of confidence."

Iga Swiatek plans to "celebrate with a lot of Tiramisu" after becoming the first player since Serena Williams in 2013 to win five successive WTA Tour events with victory at the Internazionali d'Italia.

The world number one faced Ons Jabeur – who had been on an 11-match winning run – in Sunday's final in Rome and simply had too much for the Tunisian.

Swiatek won 6-2 6-2, with the 20-year-old Pole getting an early break to establish a 3-0 lead that put her in control of the first set.

As it happened, last week's Madrid Open champion Jabeur never managed to wrest control back from her opponent – her only break of the match came while 4-1 down in the second, with Swiatek digging deep to save four break points in her next service game.

Swiatek then saw things out to defend her Rome title and add to her impressive recent streak.

Additionally, Swiatek has emerged victorious from every WTA 1000 event she has entered this season, having previously won in Doha, Indian Wells and Miami.

But she was quick to salute Jabeur's efforts after another commendable showing.

Swiatek said: "I want to congratulate Ons because she had such a good run on the clay court.

"You have shown fight, spirit, so much variety that it's really nice to have you on tour. Your tennis is different and your tennis is really interesting for women's tennis I think."

As for her own performances, Swiatek added: "It wasn't easy for the whole week to play every day, but the crowd gave me so much energy.

"It was so nice to play here, be in Rome, and I agree with Ons in terms of good pasta! And today I'll celebrate with a lot of Tiramisu – no regrets!"

Swiatek now heads to Roland Garros – the scene of her first and only previous grand slam success in 2020 – as the firm favourite.

Novak Djokovic claimed his 1,000th ATP Tour win with a dominant victory over Casper Ruud in the semi-final of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Saturday.

The world number one was in fine touch, winning an imposing 40 per cent of return points on first serve as he defeated the Norweigian world number 10 6-4 6-3 and progressed to the Rome final.

The Serbian becomes the fifth player in the open era to reach 1,000 wins, joining Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

After the match, Djokovic asserted how seeing contemporaries in Federer and Nadal achieve respective milestones in 2015 and 2020 provided motivation.

"Thanks to the tournament and the crowd for celebrating the milestone with me," Djokovic said post-match.

"I've seen Roger and Rafa celebrate those milestones in the last couple of years and I was looking forward to get to that 1,000 myself. I'm really, really blessed and privileged to have that many victories on the tour.

"It's been a long time, ever since I won my first match on the tour. Hopefully I can keep going and many more victories to come."

Djokovic will look for victory 1,001 when he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final, after he defeated Alexander Zverev 4-6 6-3 6-3.

The 34-year-old leads their head-to-head matchup 6-2, with the last meeting being Djokovic's epic five-set win in the French Open final last year. Djokovic also won last year's quarter-final in Rome between the two.

This final appearance makes for the Greek world number five's best result in Rome, and he is savouring his time at the Foro Italico.

"It's one of those tournaments that I think has the most history in sport," Tsitsipas said. "As you can see looking around the sides, one of the most beautiful stadiums.

"There's a lot of history playing on these courts and you feel very proud that you made your way here and are able to participate in such a historically rich event."

Ons Jabeur believes clawing back a match point against Daria Kasatkina puts her in a strong place to push for glory against world number one Iga Swiatek.

Jabeur won for an 11th straight time as she defeated Kasatkina 6-4 1-6 7-5 in the semi-finals of the Internazionali d'Italia on Saturday.

Her victory sets up a final against Swiatek, who extended her winning streak to 27 matches by defeating Aryna Sabalenka.

Jabeur, who won in the Spanish capital last week, is aiming to become the third player to win the Madrid and Rome titles in a single year. Dinara Safina in 2009 and Serena Williams in 2013 are the others to have managed that feat.

However, it would all have been different had Kasatkina converted her match point in the deciding set.

"It means a lot to me, especially mentally, that I could come back from a match point and prove that I did that today," Jabeur said.

"Hopefully I can keep being stronger mentally, because I know [the final] is all about mental [strength].

"I knew that physically I could handle anything. Believing that I could play even four weeks in a row, I can do it. I am exhausted, yes, but it's part of my job.

"It's going to help me push more. There is only one match left. I gave it all from the first round, now I should really continue giving my best."

Swiatek found matters rather more comfortable against Sabalenka, who she beat 6-2 6-1. The 20-year-old is in the hunt for a fourth title of 2022.

"At these tournaments where we play day after day, we don't really get time to celebrate," she told reporters.

"Right after we finish the previous match, we have to think about the next one.

"It's pretty tough. But I know that after I'm going to be really proud of myself. For sure I'm going to have time to think about what I did.

"I'm just constantly surprising myself that I can do better and better. I feel like I actually can believe now that the sky's the limit. That's the fun part, for sure."

In the last 25 years, only Serena Williams in 2013, Kim Clijsters in 2003 and Martina Hingis in 1998 have reached the final in Rome with fewer games dropped than Swiatek this season (17).

Novak Djokovic will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia final after beating Casper Ruud.in straights sets to claim his 1,000th ATP Tour win.

Djokovic secured a return to the top of the rankings by defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime on Friday and the legendary Serb, who turns 35 next week, was celebrating again in Rome on Saturday after reaching an astonishing landmark.

The 20-time grand slam champion beat Ruud 6-4 6-3 at the Foro Italico to set up a repeat of last year's French Open final, which he won by storming back from two sets down to deny Tsitsipas a maiden major triumph.

Djokovic is only the fifth man in the Open Era to reach 1,000 wins and will take his record tally of ATP Masters 1000 finals to an incredible 55 on Sunday.

A five-time winner on the clay in the Italian capital, Djokovic made a blistering start, breezing into a 4-0 lead as Ruud was unable to hold twice under huge pressure from the Serb.

Ruud warmed to the task, breaking back to reduce the deficit to 5-3, but the first set was over when the 23-year-old sliced a backhand long after being forced wide by the top seed.

Norwegian Ruud started the second set with a commanding hold to love and there were no further break points until Djokovic moved into a 4-3 lead.

Ruud had saved three break points with excellent defence on the back foot, but Djokovic was not to be denied at the fourth time of asking.

Djokovic consolidated that break to stand on the brink of the final and then broke again to seal the victory with his 20th winner of the semi-final, dispatching a forehand beyond Ruud, who he beat at the same stage of this tournament two years ago.

The Belgrade native will be out to extend his record of ATP Masters 1000 titles to 36 when he faces Greek Tsitsipas for the first time since breaking his heart at Roland Garros last season.

Daria Kasatkina had progress to the Internazionali d'Italia final in her grasp, but Ons Jabeur struck back to set up a showdown with Iga Swiatek.

World number one Swiatek saw off Aryna Sabalenka in Saturday's other semi-final, and it is Tunisia's Jabeur who will meet her on Sunday.

Jabeur had to do things the hard way, saving a matchpoint in the deciding set before going on to prevail 6-4 1-6 7-5.

The victory is Jabeur's 11th in a row and sends the 27-year-old into her second final in the space of a week following her win in Madrid.

Jabeur started strong with an immediate break of serve, yet Kasatkina stubbornly fought back with two breaks of her own.

However, a slip up from the Russian at 3-1 up allowed Jabeur to drag herself back into the set before she broke again to win it.

The momentum swung the other way as Kasatkina dominated the second set to force a decider, in which Jabeur's steel was on full show as she sealed a fourth straight win over the world number 23 with a sublime drop-shot.

Jabeur has now won 17 matches on clay in 2022, more than any other player on the WTA Tour, while she is the first to reach three finals on dirt in the same season since Simona Halep did so in 2017.

Should she overcome Swiatek – who is herself on a remarkable 27-match winning run – Jabeur will become the third player to win the Madrid and Rome titles in a single year. Dinara Safina in 2009 and Serena Williams in 2013 are the others to have managed that feat.

Stefanos Tsitsipas sank the title hopes of Alexander Zverev as the Greek star edged the Rome edition of their semi-final series on clay this season.

At the Internazionali d'Italia, Tsitsipas scored a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory over German Zverev to earn a place in Sunday's final.

These two players have now met 12 times in their careers, and Tsitsipas holds an 8-4 head-to-head winning record.

Three of those matches have come at clay-court ATP 1000 tournaments in the past four weeks, with Tsitsipas winning a semi-final on the way to the title in Monte Carlo, then losing to Zverev at the same stage in Madrid.

This latest instalment in Italy was a gripping contest, as the players battled to take on Novak Djokovic or Casper Ruud for the title.

An early break came in the seventh game when, serving at 30-40, Tsitsipas attacked the net but Zverev hit the net cord on his backhand return. The deflection disorientated Tsitsipas slightly and he volleyed wide. One break was enough for the set.

Tsitsipas broke in the second game of the second set, with Zverev serving a double fault at the critical moment, and then got decisively ahead in the fifth game of the decider when Zverev netted on the forehand.

This was a strong win for last year's French Open runner-up, who lost that championship match from two sets up against Djokovic at Roland Garros. It carries Tsitsipas through to his first Internazionali d'Italia final, and a 20th final of his ATP career. He has an 8-11 record in finals to date, and a tour-leading 31 match wins this season.

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