Daily Digest: Italian Open champion Iga Swiatek breaks into world top ten

Iga Swiatek

In today's news: Iga Świątek is ranked in the world top ten for the first time, Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis leave Manchester City and Team Bath secure a Netball Super League semi-final spot.

Iga Swiatek breaks into top ten for first time

Following the updated world rankings list from the Women's Tennis Association, Poland's Iga Świątek has broken into the top ten for the first time in her career. 

The 19-year-old stunned Karolina Plíšková in the Italian Open final with a 6-0, 6-0 victory, going on to win the Grand Slam title in Rome. Świątek's victory sees her climb six places up to ninth in the WTA rankings, forcing Pliskova to drop down a spot into tenth place.

She now boasts two Grand Slam titles, after winning the French Open last year, becoming the first Polish woman to reach the final since Jadwiga Jędrzejowska in 1939. Świątek beat current world number five Sofia Kenin at Roland Garros 6-4, 6-1, setting the tone for her eventual Italian Open title this year.

Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis return stateside

Manchester City's US duo Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis have left the club following the closure of the 2020/21 season. Both players announced their new sides today, with Lavelle joining OL Reign and Mewis returning to North Carolina Courage.

The USA internationals return to their native country after a season-long move across the pond. Mewis featured in 17 Women's Super League games for Man City and contributed seven goals and two assists. She also bagged herself five goals in the Champions League. The 28-year-old established herself as a real powerhouse in the middle of the park for the league runners up. 

Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis

Lavelle on the other hand, struggled with her fitness at times under Gareth Taylor and scored just the one WSL goal in 16 appearances. She joins OL Reign in a trade with Washington Spirit, in exchange for the Seattle outfit's natural first round draft pick in the 2022 NWSL College Draft and $200,000 in allocation money.

Mewis and Lavelle enjoyed winning the FA Cup with their loan side, as well as finishing runners up in the WSL. 

Team Bath secure Super League semi-final spot 

After a hard-fought victory against Surrey Storm in the Vitality Netball Super League, Team Bath have certified their top four place with games still to spare this season.

The Blue and Gold celebrated a 55-39 win at the Copper Box on Sunday, showcasing their defensive resilience to keep the Surrey outfit at bay. Team Bath currently top the Super League table with 45 points from 16 games played, winning all but one of their fixtures this term. Behind them are Loughborough Lightning, Manchester Thunder and Wasps, who still have a semi-final spot to fight for.

Chelsea adamant they "will be back" in Champions League final

After a promising run in the 2020/21 Champions League, Chelsea were snubbed at the final hurdle by a resilient Barcelona side. The final, which took place on Sunday in Gothenburg, saw the Catalonians lift their first ever European trophy, also becoming the first Spanish women's side to do so.

Chelsea were naturally hugely disappointed by their runners-up status, but have promised club owner Roman Abramovich they "will be back" in the final very soon.

Chelsea Women

"The girls were very quick to tell him [Abramovich] that we will be back here," Emma Hayes said. "We'll work hard on the training pitch to make sure we do that. If I know this group well enough I know they mean those words and this is just another step in our journey.

"We are the second best team in Europe and that's a step in the right direction. There's still a lot of potential in this group."

Barcelona took the lead just after 30 seconds into the final, before going on to score three more goals in an emphatic and historic 4-0 win.

West Ham appoint Paul Konchesky as assistant manager

Former England international Paul Konchesky has joined West Ham Women as the club's assistant manager ahead of the 2021/22 season. 

The former defender, who represented the Irons between 2005 and 2007, has been assisting recently appointed head coach Olli Harder since the start of the year and has now been brought into the team on a permanent basis.

"When the opportunity came through from Olli to be his assistant manager, it was a no-brainer for me to work in a top league with some great players in a first-team environment," Konchesky said.

West Ham narrowly survived the drop this season after being locked in a four-way relegation battle for a large chunk of the campaign. They finished in ninth place on 15 points, three ahead of bottom of the table Bristol City.

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