WATCH: Imperious Iga Swiatek marches on in Rome
World No 1 Iga Swiatek delivered the most emphatic of results as she started her Italian Open campaign without dropping a game.
Swiatek made history as just the second woman to have a pair of perfect 6-0, 6-0 wins in Rome.
On top of her second round win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Swiatek already owned a double bagel over Karolina Pliskova earned in 2021 in the Italian capital.
Swiatek joins Chris Evert as the only women to have achieved multiple 6-0, 6-0 results in Rome in the open era.
“When I’m playing these kind of matches, I’m just trying to be focused,” Swiatek said in assessment.
“It’s actually pretty hard to be focused when you are really thinking [about the score]. So I’m trying to remember what got me this nice score, what I should do to continue playing that well. I just want to be consistent in it.
“In my opinion, the score doesn’t really matter and it doesn’t have any influence on my feeling on the court. I’m just trying to play my best tennis no matter what the score is.”
Swiatek won in the first WTA Tour match between herself and Pavlyuchenkova, despite the windy circumstances at the Foro Italico. Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the second round after defeating Sara Errani 6-1, 6-1 in the first round, her first main-draw singles win of an injury-plagued season.
Swiatek expertly deployed her kick-serve to hold Pavlyuchenkova at bay throughout her service games.
Pavlyuchenkova, a Roland Garros finalist in 2021, put in a strategically sound performance but failed to strike her closing shots consistently. Her only break point came at 4-0 in the opening set. Pavlyuchenkova did well to create room for a forehand down the line, but she missed and Swiatek went on to win the game.
Pavlyuchenkova battled back from 5-0 down to save six set points from 0-40 on her serve, but the world No 1’s tenacious return game ultimately broke through to seal her tour-leading eighth 6-0 set of the season.
Swiatek’s relentless march continued in the second set, when she raced the table to victory.
Swiatek’s flawless performance was mirrored in the post-match statistics. In the match, she had 19 winners with just nine unforced errors to her name. She created 11 break-point opportunities and converted six of them, while preserving the one she faced on her serve. Pavlyuchenkova ended with seven winners and 19 unforced errors. Swiatek won and overwhelming 57 points against Pavlyuchenkova’s total of 29.
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