ROME -- Serving for the first set in Saturday’s Internazionale BNL d'Italia final, Iga Swiatek hit her only double fault of the match.

She looked more surprised than angry, but there was a controlled fury in the strokes that immediately followed. After missing her first serve at 15-all, she hammered one to Aryna Sabalenka’s body and it was not returned. Two more heavy first serves did not come back and Swiatek was on her way to another emphatic victory on red clay.

Anyone can function nicely in good times -- but how do you deal with pressure and adversity? There’s no one better at the moment than the No.1-ranked Swiatek, a nerveless 6-2, 6-3 winner over No.2 Sabalenka.

With the match still open to suggestion in the second game of the second set, Swiatek fended off five break points to stay even. She was 7-for-7 for the match and 18-for-19 in her past three -- against terrific players.

“Overall, I try to treat these points as any other point,” Swiatek said. “I’m not feeling like I’m under so much pressure. Maybe also because I know I'm a great returner, even if I’m going to get broken, I can work it out.

“I think on this tournament, my serve was kind of really helping me. All this work that we’ve been putting [in] actually paid off in those important moments.”

In a span of 23 days, Swiatek has won the Madrid Open for the first time and followed it up with her third title in Rome. It is now more than possible to imagine -- wasn’t it always? -- that she will capture the Triple Crown at Roland Garros after reaching another final. Swiatek’s won there three times in the past four years and will be the overwhelming favorite to beat Jasmine Paolini on Saturday to score four of five.

It’s only happened once in Hologic WTA Tour history and, of course, it was Serena Williams achieving that fabulous feat, in 2013.

In advance of this event, two-time Rome champion Elina Svitolina was asked if Swiatek, based on her history, could put together these titles back-to-back-to-back.

“Yeah,” Svitolina said, after briefly pondering the question. “She lives to play on clay, obviously, winning multiple times at Roland Garros.

“It’s a great lineup for her for this year. She’s playing really well, so it’s going to be tough to beat her in these events.”

Martina Navratilova, a two-time singles winner and seven-time doubles champion at Roland Garros, said there wasn’t any reason that Swiatek wouldn’t triumph in Paris.

“No, not really,” Navratilova said. “She’s been Chris Evert-like. That topspin drives you nuts, and I think she moves as good as anybody. Clay, she’s got that down to perfection, the sliding and the movement and recovery.

“Just wears you out from the baseline, playing aggressive. She’s got the consistency and the major wins. That’s why she’s been No.1 for so long. Paris is the perfect venue for her game.”

Swiatek is relentlessly aggressive. She had Sabalenka constantly on the run. Too often a point ended with Sabalenka stretching and out of position, impatiently trying to hit shots with a high degree of difficulty instead of taking something off the ball.

Here is precisely what that pressure feels like:

“I know that she’s moving well and I have to stay aggressive, I have to keep pushing,” Sabalenka said. “There is little chance that she’s going to give me an easy point. Maybe knowing that, it makes me rush things a little bit.

Hot shot: Swiatek outfoxes Sabalenka in the Rome final

“I guess that’s what I’m going to try to do differently next time when I’m playing against her, not rush things, trust my game, and know that I don’t have to overdo stuff to get those key points.”

You have to feel for Sabalenka, who flashed several wry smiles during another classy speech at the trophy presentation. She’s had a lot of practice. In a little over two years, Swiatek has beaten her five times of six on clay -- five in finals.

Sabalenka came into the event under the weather and persevered through congestion, a sore throat and a lower back injury -- she saved three match points against Svitolina -- that cast doubt over her quarterfinal match. Even with all the atmospheric advantages to her game, even with her best stuff, Sabalenka came up short in Madrid’s final in a third-set tiebreak.

The only apparent weakness in Swiatek’s game? Keeping a lid -- with the photographers snapping away -- on the silver championship trophies she is rapidly accumulating.

Does she consider herself the favorite going into Roland Garros? 

“Well,” Swiatek said, “I’m No. 1 so I’m the favorite everywhere if you look at rankings. But rankings don’t play, so ... I’ll do everything step by step and we’ll see.”