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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday May 9, 2024

Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek dropped just two games as she commenced her quest for a third Rome title.

Photo Source: Getty

Two games dropped. Pretty much par for the course for World No.1 Iga Swiatek on her beloved clay. The 22-year-old inflicted her own brand of pain and suffering on American Bernarda Pera in Thursday’s night session in Rome, moving past the southpaw with relative ease, 6-0, 6-2 for her 33rd win of the season (including BJK Cup).

Tennis Express

“For sure it was a solid match,” said Swiatek, who will face Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva in the third round after her 77-minute conquest. “Especially coming from Madrid, I wanted to feel how it is on the center court. I'm happy I got my first win and I can play another match.”

2021 and 2022 Rome champion Swiatek improves to 72-10 lifetime on clay and 15-2 lifetime at Rome.

Last weekend’s Madrid champion stretched her current winning streak to seven.

Pera raised her level in the second set as she hit out with power and erased two match points to earn her first break of the day with Swiatek serving at 6-2, 5-1.

It only delayed the ultimate decision, however.

“I think I would say at the end I felt like she's playing like she has nothing to lose,” Swiatek said. “I wanted still to do my job and stick to my tactics. At the end I did that. Overall I'm happy with the match.”

Gauff Gets on Track

Third-seeded Coco Gauff also notched a routine victory, 6-3, 6-3 over Magdalena Frech of Poland. The 20-year-old cracked 28 winners and made nine double-faults.

The double-faults have been an issue this spring for Gauff – she poured in 14 doubles in her round of 16 loss to Madison Keys in Madrid and believes that the serve is the one area that she needs to improve to get over the top this spring.

Gauff saved four of eight break points against Frech and won 19 of 27 first-serve points. She was only able to win 10 of 26 second-serve points, so there is still work to be done.

2021 semifinalist Gauff has won 30 of her last 32 matches against players ranked outside of the Top 30. She is just 21-18 vs The Top 30 since the start of 2023, however (9-9 vs the Top 10 in that span).

Gauff will take on Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian, the World No. 68, in the third round.

Keep up with all the live scores and results from Rome here


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