Swiatek extends winning streak to 24 while Gauff reaches last 16 in Rome
The wins keep coming for Swiatek, who will now aim to make it 25 in a row against former world No 1 Azarenka on Thursday in Rome
World No 1 Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 24 matches on Wednesday with a comfortable straight sets win over Romania’s Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
The Pole has won the last four tournaments she has played and was returning to competeition after a two-week break on the tour.
However, she showed few signs of rustiness as she dominated Ruse 6-3, 6-0 to win in one hour and eight minutes and advance to the round of 16.
The win sets up an exciting third round clash against former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka, the No 16 seed. The Belarusian scored a 6-2, 6-4 win over Colombia’s Camila Osorio in one hour and 28 minutes.
Swiatek and Azarenka have split their two career meetings, with the Belarusian winning their third-round clash at the 2020 US Open in straight sets while Swiatek avenged that loss with a three-set win in Adelaide in January this year.
Gauff joins Swiatek in the round of 16 in Rome
Earlier on Wednesday, American teen Coco Gauff also booked her spot in the round of 16 at the Italian Open with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Madison Brengle. The match was another impressive win for Gauff, who ousted former world No 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber in straight sets in the first round.
Gauff will next meet Greece’s Maria Sakkari, who defeated Madrid semi-finalist Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3, 6-2.
Sakkari holds a 3-1 edge in their head-to-head, including a win in the Doha quarter-finals earlier this year. But Gauff, ranked a career-high No 15 currently, has won their only encounter on clay, which came at this very tournament 12 months ago.