Swiatek survives Putintseva test to reach last 16 in Rome

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Swiatek survives Putintseva test to reach last 16 in Rome

World No 1 Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak and reached the fourth round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by despatching Yulia Putintseva in straight sets in Rome.

Swiatek need one hour and 46 minutes to see off her opponent 6-3 6-4 on Saturday, coming back from 4-1 down in the second set to win five consecutive matches and reach the last 16.

The Pole saved four break points to hold for 2-4 in the second set and regain momentum, before completing her victory to set up a meeting with Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the next round.

Iga Swiatek, of Poland, celebrates after winning a point during her match against YuliaPutintseva, of Kazakhstan, at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Saturday, May 11, 2024.(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Image: Iga Swiatek is through to the last 16 at the Italian Open

“I needed to get my focus together,” Swiatek said. “I know that I can play good tennis because I did it in the first set. I just wanted to come back to being solid and really work for the points because she’s really changing the rhythm, so it’s not easy to play against her.”

Having won the Madrid Open last week, Swiatek is attempting to become the first woman to win the ‘dirt double’ since Serena Williams in 2013. She’s already a two-time Rome champion and has described Rafael Nadal as a role model.

“He’s a huge inspiration,” Swiatek said. “He’s basically the only idol I ever had in my life. So it’s great that he’s back to play some tennis.”

Iga Swiatek, of Poland, returns the ball to YuliaPutintseva, of Kazakhstan, during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Saturday, May 11, 2024.(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Image: Swiatek came through the toughest test of her tournament so far to reach the fourth round

Elsewhere, Paula Badosa rallied past Diana Shnaider 5-7 6-4 6-4 to reach the fourth round at a WTA 1000 event for the first time since her quarter-final appearance in Rome last year.

Kerber defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 7-6, while 10th seed Daria Kasatkina was beaten in straight sets by Naomi Osaka.

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