World No. 1 Iga Swiatek acknowledged she didn’t have a great start versus Victoria Azarenka but she was glad that she was able to lift her level and escape with a straight-set win over the former world No. 1.
Swiatek, seeded at No. 1 in Rome, defeated Azarenka 6-4 6-1 in the Rome round-of-16.
Swiatek got off to a slow start to the match as she lost her service games in back-to-back and found herself 0-3 down early on.
Down by two breaks, Swiatek responded by claiming three consecutive breaks and taking a 5-3 lead.
Swiatek failed to serve out for the first set in the ninth game but broke Azarenka for the fourth consecutive time in the 10th game to still win the opener.
After winning the first set, Swiatek got broken in the opening game of the second set.
Falling down by a break wasn’t a problem for Swiatek, who claimed three consecutive breaks and won six games in a row to complete a straight-set win in style.
Swiatek: Happy I reset and started to play much better
“I didn’t start well, and everybody could see that,” Swiatek told WTA insider. “I’m really happy with the way I reacted and how I improved in the first set. Also how different the second set looked to the first one because I could really reset and really change the way I played. That’s the most positive thing for me.”
Next up for Swiatek is 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.
Swiatek and Andreescu have no previous meetings but Swiatek has nothing but good to say about the Canadian.
“Bianca’s a great player. Watching her last year, it really struck me how much variety she has, the drop shots. It’s really nice to watch her game. It’s going to be a really exciting match, but for me the most important thing is to get more and more comfortable on clay,” Swiatek said of Andreescu.
Swiatek: “Bianca’s a great player. Watching her last year, it really struck me how much variety she has, the drop shots. It’s really nice to watch her game. It’s going to be a really exciting match, but for me the most important thing is to get more and more comfortable on clay.” pic.twitter.com/ubA2pop0dw
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 12, 2022