After earning a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over world No. 32 Amanda Anisimova, world No. 8 Aryna Sabalenka now faces world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the semifinals of the Italian Open. This will be the third meeting between these two players in 2022, and Swiatek won the previous two in straight sets. The most recent of those two match-ups came in Stuttgart on April 24, and that was an indoor clay-court match.

Sabalenka has looked really strong in Rome thus far, earning straight-set wins over world No. 42 Zhang Shuai and world No. 11 Jessica Pegula before defeating Anisimova. Anisimova is in pretty good form right now, so that was really a nice win. The Belarusian did, however, have eight double faults against the American in that match, and she was broken five times throughout the course of that three-setter. That type of thing might fly against Anisimova, but it certainly won’t against the best player in the world.


Swiatek is right near the top of the WTA in return points won percentage, winning 50.7% of the time. That means that the Polish superstar is good at coming away with breaks against anybody, so that should prove to be especially true against somebody that is currently dealing with the yips. In case you're wondering, Swiatek broke Sabalenka four times in their previous meeting, and that’s all she needed to do while handling her business in a 6-2, 6-2 win.

Swiatek also hasn’t skipped a beat after deciding to sit out of the Mutua Madrid Open. The 20-year-old has already won four events in the 2022 season, and she looks poised to take home her fifth in Rome. Swiatek faced an in-form Bianca Andreescu on Friday, and she came away with a 7-6 (2), 6-0 victory. Swiatek hit 27 winners to just 14 unforced errors in that one, which just shows you how clean her ball striking is at the moment. One of the reasons Sabalenka is able to overcome her struggling serve against most opponents is that she has an advantage from the baseline. But that just isn’t the case against Swiatek, and that’s why it’s hard to see this one being competitive.

Overall, look for Swiatek’s dominance over the rest of the competition to continue on Saturday. She should have little trouble getting across the finish line in this one, and we like her to do it in straight sets. If that’s something you want to jump on, the best odds you’ll get is by backing Sabalenka not to win a set on DraftKings.

The Pick: Sabalenka Not To Win A Set (-160)