ROME -- If Iga Swiatek continues playing like this, she might have no problem defending her French Open title when the year’s second Grand Slam starts in two weeks.
The 19-year-old Pole routed Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 with what is known as a “double bagel” score in an Italian Open final that lasted just 46 minutes.
Swiatek lost just 13 points.
“Definitely not the best day for me,” Pliskova said. “Iga was playing great tennis today.
It was the first double bagel in a WTA final in five years, since Simona Halep overwhelmed Anastasija Sevastova in Bucharest.
“I think you have just days like this in tennis where things are not going your way,” Pliskova added. “I will just quickly forget about today.”
Blasting winners at will with both her forehand and backhand, Swiatek led 17-5 in winners and committed only five unforced errors to Pliskova’s 23.
It wasn’t always so easy this week for Swiatek, the surprise winner in Paris last year when she was ranked 54th.
She had to save two match points in her third-round victory over Barbora Krejcikova then had to win twice on Saturday - beating both two-time Rome champion Elina Svitolina and 17-year-old Coco Gauff - after her quarterfinal was pushed back a day due to rain.
“It’s been a tough week but I’m really happy that I got through everything,” Swiatek said. “I was super focused today so I’m really proud of myself.”
Swiatek’s third career title will move her into the top 10 of the rankings for the first time on Monday - to No. 9.
Pliskova was playing in her third consecutive final at the Foro Italico, having won the title in 2019. The veteran Czech player slammed her racket to the clay in frustration early in the second set and received a code violation warning for unsportsmanlike conduct.