Ruthless Svitolina reaches Rome final

Elina Svitolina will meet Simona Halep or Maria Sharapova in the Internazionali d'Italia final after breezing past Anett Kontaveit.

Elina Svitolina will face either Simona Halep or Maria Sharapova in Sunday's final.   -  Getty Images

Defending champion Elina Svitolina reached the Internazionali d'Italia final after a commanding straight-sets victory over Anett Kontaveit.

The world number four dispatched the unseeded Kontaveit 6-4 6-3 in Saturday's first semi to keep the defence of her title alive.

Svitolina beat Angelique Kerber 6-4 6-4 in the last eight and was similarly ruthless against Kontaveit, who so impressively knocked out Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki in the previous round.

The Estonian battled to level at 2-2 after dropping her opening service game to love but Svitolina broke again to go 5-3 ahead with a brilliant lob, having saved two break points, before closing out the set.

An ill-advised drop shot was punished by the Ukrainian in the third game of the second set and she promptly took her third break point out of three to seize control of the match.

Another backhand winner and a double fault from Kontaveit gave Svitolina three match points and she took the second, a fierce forehand return onto the baseline too hot for her opponent to handle.

She will face either Simona Halep or Maria Sharapova in Sunday's final.