Swiatek routs Pliskova in Italian Open final

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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.

At French Open, Francisco Cerundolo is mad at chair umpire over Holger Rune’s double-bounce

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
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PARIS – Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina was devastated about losing his French Open fourth-round match to Holger Rune of Denmark in a fifth-set tiebreaker Monday. He also was mad at chair umpire Kader Nouni for missing a double-bounce of the ball on a point that was awarded to Rune early in his 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) victory.

They were tied at a set apiece and on serve at 2-1 for the No. 6-seeded Rune early in the third at Court Suzanne Lenglen when the point of contention happened. Cerundolo, who was serving at deuce, hit a forehand that skidded low at the baseline and quickly bounced a second time – which normally would have meant that the point was his.

But Rune went ahead and got his racket on the ball, sending it back over the net. At about the same time, No. 23 seed Cerundolo was saying “sorry” to apologize for the odd way his forehand made the ball skim across the clay. Nouni was not immediately aware of the double-bounce, thought the ball was still in play and called Cerundolo for hindrance for talking during a point. That meant Rune got the point, and when he won the next one, too, he had a service break.

“It was unbelievable, because it was a clear double-bounce. I was mad at the umpire because he has to see it,” Cerundolo said. “It’s his fault.”

In tennis, electronic line-calling is used at many tournaments to make line calls, but replays are not used to check things like double-bounces or whether a point should be lost because a player touches the net, which is not allowed.

And while Cerundolo put the onus on the official, he also thought Rune could have ceded the point because of the double-bounce.

“For sure, I wish he would have done that, because it was a big moment,” Cerundolo said.

Rune, who moved into a matchup against No. 4 Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, said he saw a replay after the following point, and “saw it was a double bounce. But the point already happened, and he called the score. So I felt sorry.”

But, Rune added: “This is tennis. This is sports. Some umpires, they make mistakes. Some for me; some for him. That’s life.”

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
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PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.