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Svitolina defends Italian Open title

Rome, May 20: Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina on Sunday overpowered Romania’s Simona Halep in the Italian Open final, successfully defending the title and beating the top seed 6-0, 6-4.
Svitolina, World No. 4, needed 67 minutes to defeat the current World No. 1, earning her 12th career title and her third this season following her successes in Brisbane and Dubai,reports Efe.

This was the second year in a row that Svitolina bested Halep in Rome, after winning the 2017 final 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

This was also the third time Svitolina successfully defended a title, following her back-to-back wins in the Baku Cup (2012, 2013) and the Dubai Tennis Championships (2017, 2018).

Halep seemed out for revenge heading into her championship rematch with Svitolina, after emerging victorious in the previous round from her nearly 150-minute battle against Russia’s Maria Sharapova. Halep’s hopes quickly crumbled, however, as it took a confident Svitolina only nine minutes to grab a 3-0 lead after a dominant showing, which included breaking the Romanian’s serve twice.

Halep tried to rally back, but both her forehand and backhand let her down as she lost the following three games. During the 19-minute first set, Halep committed 11 unforced errors and won only 15 percent of the first serve points. Although Halep turned up the heat in the second set, she was unable to stop Svitolina from sealing the win. IANS

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Ankur Kalita