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By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, May 14, 2023


A streaking Iga Swiatek sped through 12 straight games crushing Lesia Tsurenko, 6-2, 6-0 for her 13th consecutive Rome victory.

Photo credit: Robert Prange/Getty

Returning to Rome with resolve, Iga Swiatek is committed to carbo loading.

A streaking Iga Swiatek sped through 12 straight games crushing Lesia Tsurenko, 6-2, 6-0 for her 13th consecutive Rome victory.

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Two-time defending Rome champion Swiatek is baking up brilliance with endless virtuosity in the Eternal City.

Swiatek, who annihilated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in her opener, has dished out three bagels in four sets sealing both of her victories with dominant 12-game surges.

"Well, for sure after a pretty rusty start, I was able to break back pretty quickly, so I'm happy that I played solid game," Swiatek told the media in Rome. "Just have another experience playing on center court, and I'm happy that it wasn't raining."

Playing for her third title of the season, Stuttgart champion Swiatek raised her 2023 record to 27-5, including an 11-1 mark on her favored red clay. Swiatek suffered her lone dirt defeat to world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in last weekend's Mutua Madrid Open final and is making a major statement in Rome.

Spotting Tsurenko two games at the start today, Swiatek punished the world No. 68 with a baseline barrage. Often opening the court with her heavy topspin forehand, Swiatek slashed several diagonal forehand winners to conclude points.

‚ÄčTsurenko struggled to slow Swiatek's swarming baseline attack once the top-seeded Pole got on a roll.

On her second set point, Swiatek snatched the 40-minute opener on a Tsurenko double fault.

An oppressive Swiatek broke for a 2-0 second-set lead then won eight of 10 points played on her serve stretching her lead to 6-2, 5-0.

Swiatek ravaged Tsurenko's second serve winning 15 of 19 points played on the second serve and breaking six times in a row for an impressive 76-minute triumph. 

The reigning Roland Garros and US Open champion will play either 16th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova or 21st-seeded Donna Vekic for a trip to her third consecutive Rome quarterfinal.

American Madison Keys took a walkover into the round of 16 when scheduled opponent Victoria Azarenka withdrew. The 2016 Rome runner-up Keys will play world No. 47 Anhelina Kalinina, who stopped Sofia Kenin, for a quarterfinal spot.

Czech women celebrated Sunday in Rome with strong wins over dangerous opponents.

Former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova surprised No. 9-seeded Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-3. Vondrousova saved three of four break points.

Karolina Muchova, who saved a match point in a second-round win over Italian Martina Trevisan, took down Italian power player Camila Giorgi 7-6(4), 6-2.   


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