Iga Swiatek’s winning run extended to 25 matches after the world no. 1 defeated Victoria Azarenka in their third-round clash at the Rome Open. The top seed won 6-4, 6-1 in an hour and 55 minutes. Although the score-line looks quite straightforward, the proceedings were anything but.
At the start of the match, it was the former world no. 1 who went up a double break, taking a 3-0 against the Pole. However, Swiatek scripted a comeback that saw her serve for the set in the ninth game. There was one more twist in the set as Azarenka saved a handful of set points to bring the set back on serve.
But she wasn’t able to hold on to her serve and conceded the set and the lead to Swiatek, who never looked back in the match after that point. Swiatek hit 34 winners, 16 more than Azarenka’s 18 and had 39 unforced errors, eight more than her opponent’s 31.
In the quarter-finals, Swiatek will play Bianca Andreescu in what will be their first-ever meeting.
Rome Open: All top seeds but one come through
The Canadian got past Petra Martic, 6-4, 6-4 in their round-of-16 clash. Martic, who’d reached the semi-finals in Rome in 2021, won 80% of her first-serve points to Andreescu’s 68%.
However, the latter won 52% of her second-serve points to Martic’s 42%. The former world no. 4 saved six of the seven break points she faced while converting three of the four break point opportunities that she had. Meanwhile, Daria Kasatkina posted the biggest upset of the day by taking out the second-seeded Paula Badosa, 6-4, 6-4 in their round-of-16 match-up.
Kasatkina will next play Jil Teichmann. The Swiss beat Elena Rybakina, 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-5 in their third-round match. Third seed Aryna Sabalenka moved into the quarters as well with a 6-1, 6-4 win over 13th seed Jessica Pegula.
Sabalenka will play Amanda Anisimova in a rematch of their Madrid Open second-round match. The American has a 4-0 win-to-loss record against the former world no. 2. Lastly, ninth seed Ons Jabeur and fourth seed Maria Sakkari have set up a quarter-final clash against each other at the Rome Open.
The Tunisian won her third-round match against Yulia Putintseva, 6-3, 6-2 while Sakkari got the better of the 15th-seeded Coco Gauff, 6-4, 7-5. Photo Credit: WTA Twitter