- The two most in-form clay-court players, Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur, meet in the Rome final
- Swiatek has a 27-match winning streak; Jabeur is up to 11. Something will have to give
- The world No. 1 is a heavy favorite; we break it down and look for value
Will Iga Swiatek ever lose a tennis match?
The odds say it’s not likely to be the Italian Open women’s singles final.
Swiatek vs Jabeur Odds
| Iga Swiatek (POL)||-5.5 (-118)||-560||O 19.5 (+100)|
| Ons Jabeur (TUN)||+5.5 (-106)||+410||U 19.5 (-124)|
Odds as of May 14 at Barstool Sportsbook
Swiatek is the heavy favorite against Ons Jabeur, even though the Tunisian has won their last two meetings.
But 2021 isn’t 2022; Swiatek is like an unstoppable locomotive at this point, and already the heavy favorite in the French Open odds to win the upcoming Grand Slam, one of the biggest tennis events of the year.
Swiatek Overwhelms Sabalenka
You would hope a WTA 1000 semifinal between the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds would be a barnburner.
But with Swiatek in full confidence and Sabalenka at the opposite end of the spectrum, it was a mismatch.
Swiatek came through 6-1, 6-2 in 79 dominant minutes.
The crushing statistic? Sabalenka won just 29 percent (9-of-31) points on her first serve. She actually did better on her second serve and limited the collateral double-fault damage to three.
So it was hard to tell exactly what Swiatek’s level was. She played outstanding tennis.
But she was never challenged or pressured.
Swiatek vs Jabeur Head-to-Head
|20 (May 30, 2001)||Age||27 (Aug. 28, 1994)|
|Warsaw, Poland||Birthplace||Ksar el Hellar, Tunisia|
|1||Career Grand Slam Titles|
|7||Career WTA Singles Titles||2|
|No. 1 (April 4, 2022)||Career High Ranking||No. 7 (Nov. 1, 2021)|
|No. 1||Current Ranking||No. 7|
|$8,517,786||Career Prize Money||$5,813,092|
|36-3||2022 Won/Loss record||25-7|
|1||Career Head to Head||2|
Another Comeback Victory for Jabeur
Jabeur was down 6-1, 5-2 against Maria Sakkari in the quarterfinals. The Greek player served for the match twice.
And yet, Jabeur took advantage of her opponent’s collapse to run off 11 of the last 12 games to stutter into the semifinals.
On Saturday, she had another battle on her hands.
Opponent Daria Kasatkina had a match point. But in the end, Jabeur prevailed again, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
She looked tired, and her tennis was pretty ragged. But somehow she came through.
It took only a shade under two hours in the heat. But it was exponentially exhausting both physically and mentally.
Jabeur broke her opponent six times (out of 15 opportunities). But she herself was also broken six times, out of the nine chances she gave her Russian opponent.
She’s in the final for the second consecutive WTA 1000 tournament, after prevailing in Madrid last week.
But she won’t be particularly confident on the tennis side. And she definitely won’t be fresh on the physical side.
Swiatek vs Jabeur Match History
|2021||Cincinnati (R32)||Outdoor Hard||6-3, 6-3||Jabeur|
|2021||Wimbledon (R16)||Grass||5-7, 6-1, 6-1||Jabeur|
|2019||Washington, D.C. (R32)||Outdoor Hard||4-6, 6-4, 6-4||Swiatek|
A Lot at Stake for Both Swiatek and Jabeur
After Swiatek took the “Sunshine Double” earlier in the year, winning the titles in Indian Wells and Miami, it’s Jabeur’s turn to try for the Madrid-Rome double.
It’s not something that has happened often.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 14, 2022
Dinara Safina did not win the French Open a few weeks later.
Serena Williams did.
The first set will be key for Jabeur, who is 21-0 this year when she wins the first set.
Swiatek has lost the first set just four times during her 27-match win streak; she has lost the second set just … once.
Swiatek: “Ons is a pretty tricky player with all the slices and drop shots, changing of rhythm. I already played against her a few times. It was always hard.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 14, 2022
But given how wiped out Jabeur likely is at this point – she has played mostly daytime matches in the big heat, and they’ve been difficult ones – the first set will be even more important for her than for Swiatek.
So we expect the first set to be close. And so there are some interesting prop bets – such as +163 for the first set to go over 9.5 games.
But if Jabeur loses it, the wind will go out of her sails. And thinking about how much of an effort it would be to win two consecutive sets against the unbeatable Swiatek will likely be too much to realistically handle. So expect the second set to be fairly quick.
Swiatek also is likely to beat the spread (+118 at -5.5 games).
Best Bet: Swiatek in Two Sets (-175)