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Swiatek asserts No. 1 status with win over Andreescu in Rome

Swiatek asserts No. 1 status with win over Andreescu in Rome
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Rome: If there were any lingering questions about who is the new dominant force in women's tennis, Iga Swiatek put that to rest with a 7-6 (2), 6-0 victory over 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu on Friday to reach the Italian Open semifinals and extend her winning streak to 26 matches.

The sport was shocked when Ash Barty announced her sudden and immediate retirement while holding the No. 1 ranking two months ago. Add in that Serena Williams hasn't played in nearly a year and there were plenty of questions about who might step up and assert themselves as the new woman to beat. Well, since February, nobody has beaten Swiatek, who assumed the No. 1 spot by default when Barty removed herself from the rankings.

Considering her prowess on hard courts, the often-injured Andreescu has been tossed around as a potential No. 1. But Swiatek slowly wore Andreescu down in a lengthy first set as she dictated the tiebreaker by moving her opponent from side to side.

In all, Swiatek produced 27 winners to Andreescu's 12 and converted all six of her break points. Swiatek's semifinal opponent will be third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, who rallied past Amanda Anisimova 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 for her first victory over the American in five tries.

In the men's tournament, fifth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas served 10 aces to defeat 20-year-old Jannik Sinner 7-6 (5), 6-2 at the Foro Italico. It's the third consecutive Masters semifinal on clay for Tsitsipas, who defended his Monte Carlo Masters title last month and then was beaten by Alexander Zverev in the Madrid Open semifinals last weekend.

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