Top-seeded Iga Świątek defeated Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6:0, 6:0 and advanced to the 3rd round (1/16 finals) of the WTA 1000 tennis tournament on clay courts in Rome. Her next rival will be the Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko or the American Bernarda Pera (No. 28).
It was the first duel of a Polish woman, who will turn 22 on May 31, with nearly 10 years older Pawluczenko.
Świątek quickly won the first four games, but then the opponent’s resistance became more fierce. In the fifth, the Polish woman had to defend herself against a break, while in the sixth, the Russian defended as many as seven set balls, but eventually capitulated after an unforced error.
In the second set, the advantage of the Rashina woman was no longer subject to discussion. The match lasted less than 70 minutes.
Świątek is fighting for a third successive triumph in Rome. The record holder of the event in this respect is the Spaniard Conchita Martinez, who won there four times in the years 1993-1996.
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, seeded 2nd in the world ranking, has already dropped out of the tournament in the capital of Italy, who last week defeated Świątek in the final of the competition of the same rank in Madrid. The third-ranked American Jessica Pegula (No. 3) also suffered a defeat in Rome.
In the game, however, there are Magda Linette (17), who will fight on Saturday in the 3rd round with Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia (12). Magdalena Fręch was eliminated.
2nd round match result:
Iga Świątek (Poland, 1) – Anastazja Pawlyuchenkova (Russia) 6-0, 6-0. (PAP)