Svitolina sweeps past Halep


Elina Svitolina underlined her status as a top favourite at Roland Garros by sweeping aside Simona Halep 6-0, 6-4 to successfully defend her Italian Open crown on Sunday.
In a repeat of last year’s final at the Foro Italico, Ukrainian Svitolina, seeded fourth, was up against Halep a day after the Romanian top seed had ousted Russian Maria Sharapova. But Halep’s hopes of overturning last year’s defeat to the 23-year-old Svitolina quickly evaporated in a completely one-sided encounter that saw the Romanian fail to produce a real challenge.
Svitolina has now successfully defended three tournament titles in her career and has won her last eight finals. “I was a little bit too stiff with my body and I couldn’t stay in the rallies,” Halep said. Last year, Halep rolled her ankle in the final and lost a set lead to Svitolina. This time, Svitolina didn’t face a single break point in a match that lasted just 67 minutes. “It’s amazing that I could come and defend my title here,” Svitolina said. “It’s really something very, very special for me.”
The fourth-ranked Svitolina became the first woman to defend her title at the Foro Italico since Serena Williams accomplished the feat in 2013 and 2014.


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