Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka admitted Iga Swiatek is pretty dominant at the moment but added she loves the challenge as she is hoping to end a stunning run by the Pole. Azarenka, now ranked at No. 16 in the world, is set to meet Swiatek in the Rome round-of-16.
Azarenka and Swiatek met for the first time at the 2020 US Open and back then the Belarusian claimed a straight-set win. The two met for the second time earlier this year in Adelaide, when Swiatek beat Azarenka 6-3 2-6 6-1.
Swiatek has won her last 24 matches and beating the Pole is the toughest thing in the game right now. “Swiatek is pretty dominant right now. We had a really good match in Adelaide, so it will good for me to see how I match up agianst her.
Clay is definitely her favorite surface," Azarenka said ahead of the match, per WTA insider. "It won’t be easy but I like the challenge. It’s going to be a beautiful moment."
Azarenka beat Camila Osorio
On Wednesday, Azarenka defeated Osorio 6-2 6-4 to set up a meeting versus Swiatek.
Azarenka got off to a strong start to the match, claiming back-to-back breaks for an early 3-0 lead. Osorio got one break back in the fourth game but Azarenka earned her third break of the set in the fifth game to open a 4-1 lead.
In the eighth game, Azarenka routinely served out for the first set. Azarenka then started the second set with a break but got broken back in the second game. Azarenka earned her second break of the set in the third and led 3-1 after the opening four games.
Down by a set and a break, Osorio responded by claiming back-to-back breaks and taking a 4-3 lead in the second set. Azarenka responded well after falling down by a break in the second set as she broke Osorio in the eighth and 10th games to win three games in a row and complete a straight-set win. It remains to be seen if Azarenka can now stun Swiatek and become the first player since February to beat the Pole.