Not since Serena Williams seven years ago has another woman tennis player enjoyed such a hot streak.
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek routed Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-1 for her 27th straight win and reached the Italian Open final on Saturday.
The great Williams won 27 in a row over 2014 and 2015, although that’s not in the same league as the all-time longest streak, Martina Navratilova’s 74 stright in 1984.
“I’m just constantly surprising myself that I can do better and better,” Swiatek said.
“I feel like I actually can believe now that the sky’s the limit. That’s the fun part.”
Aiming to defend her Rome title and win her fifth straight tournament, Swiatek dominated the eighth-ranked Sabalenka with power, consistency and finesse.
While she struggled with her serve at times, the Pole was able to consistently crush both forehand and backhand winners on the slow, red clay court at the Foro Italico.
The 20-year-old also hit a delicate backhand half-volley winner in the final game of the first set.
Swiatek had the same number of winners and unforced errors, 15, while Sabalenka produced just eight winners and had a whopping 31 unforced errors.
“Today I felt like I really understood the clay,” Swiatek said.
The hard-hitting Sabalenka took a medical timeout late in the second set and had her back treated.
When it was over, she waved her arms to urge the crowd to cheer louder for her.
Swiatek, who was a surprise champion at the French Open in 2020 when she was ranked No.54, will be the favourite to add a second title at Roland Garros when the year’s second Grand Slam starts next weekend.
First, though, Swiatek will face either Ons Jabeur or Daria Kasatkina in Sunday’s final.
There’s more to Swiatek’s super season than her winning streak.
With more than half the season still to go, Swiatek has already won as many matches this year (36) as she did in all of 2021.
She also became the seventh player to reach two finals in Rome before turning 21 after Chris Evert, Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis and Venus Williams.