Italian Open: Iga Swiatek survives a test; sets last-8 meet with Elena Rybakina

Paula Badosa saw off Karolina Muchova in a three-hour, three-set encounter

by Abbey Johnson
Italian Open: Iga Swiatek survives a test; sets last-8 meet with Elena Rybakina

Iga Swiatek was made to work the hard yards in her fourth-round match at the Italian Open on Tuesday. The world no. 1’s clash against 21st seed Donna Vekic was pushed by a day on Monday on account of rain. Swiatek won 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 35 minutes but the Croatian kept on her heels right up to the last point.

As has been the usual for her, Swiatek broke Vekic in the early stages of the first set to build a quick lead for herself. However, Vekic’s tactics brought up a handful of break points on Swiatek’s serve in the seventh game of the set.

The Pole saved the first couple but was unable to save the third and handed the break back to her opponent. Trying to serve to bring the set to parity at four-all proved to be too much for Vekic and she gave the break right back.

Serving for the set in the ninth game, Swiatek held her nerves and her opponent at bay comfortably to clinch the opener. The second set saw no breaks of serve until the ninth game when Vekic dropped her serve. In fact, up until that game, neither player faced any break point.

In the 10th game, while serving for the match, Swiatek faced a couple of break-back points but staved them long enough to get the win.

Italian Open: Iga Swiatek's dominance continues unabated

Swiatek faced seven break points but saved all but six of them.

The top seed went on to convert all three break points she created on Vekic’s serve. The three-time Slam champion finished the match with 19 winners, five more than what Vekic came up with. In the quarter-final, Swiatek will take on Elena Rybakina.

It will be the third time the two will be playing this year. On both previous occasions, the Kazakh won their match-ups and will go into their clash with a 2-1 win-to-loss record. The last fourth-round match at the Italian Open saw Paula Badosa clinch a tough three-setter against Karolina Muchova.

The Spaniard needed three hours and four minutes to post a 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-2 win for herself. Jelena Ostapenko will be her rival in the quarters. Photo Credit: WTA Twitter

Iga Swiatek Elena Rybakina Karolina Muchova