Swiatek Edge Past Tsurenko With Another Bagel Set To Continue Italian Open Title Defence
Iga Swiatek produced another dominant display to thrash Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 6-0 and reach the last 16 of the Italian Open. The Polish two-time defending champion has completed three bagel sets from four in Rome so far as she bids to win a third Rome title in a row. Next up for the world No. 1 is a clash with Donna Vekic or Liudmila Samsonova on Monday.
Iga Swiatek took another confident step towards defending her Italian Open crown by beating Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 6-0 to reach the last 16 in Rome.
The world No. 1 is the firm favourite to collect a third straight title in the Italian capital after the rest of the top five seeds – Aryna Sabalenka, Jessica Pegula, Ons Jabeur and Caroline Garcia – all suffered early exits.
“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 centre court, and I’m happy that it wasn’t raining.”
Swiatek will next face the winner of a clash between two seeded players – Donna Vekic (21) and Liudmila Samsonova (16) – for a place in the quarter-finals.
The Pole flattened Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova with a double bagel in her first match, but had to recover from a shaky start on Sunday when she was broken in her opening game and went 2-0 down.
However, she responded with a commanding run of 12 straight games to race to victory and has now produced three bagel sets from four played in the Eternal City.
Swiatek needed 76 minutes to get the job done, landing 22 winners to the Ukrainian’s two in another dominant display that extended her winning run in Rome to 13 matches – the longest streak since Serena Williams’ 21 wins from 2012 to 2019.
The top seed is looking to win her third title of the 2023 season and first at WTA 1000 level after victories in Doha and Stuttgart, and looks in fine form with the French Open fast approaching.
World No. 68 Tsurenko got off to a dream start by breaking Swiatek in the opening game before a confident hold established a surprise 2-0 lead for the Ukrainian early on.
But the Pole snapped into action, breaking back at the next opportunity to begin an unstoppable run, earning three consecutive breaks to take the first set in 40 minutes.
Swiatek hit nine winners in the opener to her opponent’s one, with Tsurenko punished for an overly cautious approach as her lower unforced error count – four to Swiatek’s eight – failed to help her get a foothold.
The second set continued much as the first as Swiatek broke Tsurenko at the first opportunity and the pressure didn’t relinquish as she inflicted a bagel set on the 33-year-old.