Iga Swiatek sweeps into last 16 in quest for Rome hat-trick

Iga Swiatek wins in Rome

World No 1 Iga Swiatek, a losing finalist in Madrid last weekend, continued to display her dominant form as she advanced to the round of 16 in the women’s draw at the Italian Open in Rome.

The 21-year-old defeated Lesia Tsurenko following a rocky beginning in her quest for her third consecutive Rome victory.

Swiatek eased into the Round of 16 in Rome after defeating Tsurenko 6-2, 6-0.

Swiatek dropped the opening two games but went on to win the next 12 straight, displaying forcefully why she is ranked as the top women in the world and is the favourite to retain her Roland Garros crown.

“After a pretty rusty start, I was able to break back pretty quickly, so I’m happy that I played solid game,” Swiatek said.

“Just have another experience playing on center court, and I’m happy that it wasn’t raining.”

Swiatek increased her winning streak in the Italian city to 13 games and will next face either Donna Vekic or Ljudmila Samsonova in the fourth round.

Six of the top 10 women’s players in the world were eliminated early, which might aid her attempt to complete a hat trick in Rome.

She joins illustrious company with the win as she becomes the sixth woman to win 13 or more matches in a row in Rome.

Swiatek rights her name alongside the likes of Chris Evert, Conchita Martinez, Gabriela Sabatini, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

Swiatek promptly put an end to any dreams of an upset by the World No. 68 when the two players met for the second time in their careers. Tsurenko, who had just defeated Elina Svitolina and Bernarda Pera to get to her maiden third-round match in Rome, swiftly broke Swiatek’s serve and took a 2-0 lead.

Swiatek answered forcefully, however. The two-time winner of Roland Garros honed her technique, found her margins, and reeled off 12 straight games to win her 27th match of the year and improve her 2023 clay-court record to 11-1.

The defending champion smacked 22 winners against Tsurenko while holding the Ukrainian to just two clear winners on Sunday.

Swiatek converted six of the ten break points she generated and once again looks to be absolutely dialled in on clay.

She faced only one break point in the match with Tsurenko converting it for an early lead before she was blown away.

Swiatek has now handed out 10 bagels this season after adding another 6-0 set win and she has dropped just two games across her two matches.

READ MORE: Imperious Iga Swiatek marches on in Rome