Iga Swiatek speaks on facing Victoria Azarenka in Rome

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Iga Swiatek speaks on facing Victoria Azarenka in Rome

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek said she was proud of her performance in Rome opener as she acknowledged that Elena-Gabriela Ruse wasn't an easy opponent. After a first round bye, Swiatek made a convincing start to her Rome campaign as she destroyed Ruse 6-3 6-0.

"I'm pretty proud I could get into the rhythm today, just take some lessons during the match and improve my game, game by game," Swiatek said after her opening win in Rome, per the WTA Tour website. "That was pretty solid match for me ...

I think she's playing really solid tennis. I could feel that today on my racquet, that she could really give back some strong hits."

Swiatek beats Ruse to set up a Victoria Azarenka clash

Swiatek was struggling on her serve in the first set as she got broken twice.

However, the first set was never in jeopardy for Swiatek as she broke Ruse four times in the first set. In the second set, Swiatek started serving much better as she didn't face a single break point. Also, Swiatek broke Ruse three times to complete a straight-set win.

Swiatek plays next former world No. 1 Azarenka. The head-to-head between Swiatek and Azarenka stands at 1-1. Azarenka beat Swiatek when they met at the 2020 US Open but the Pole won their second meeting at the Adelaide International earlier this year.

"I was actually talking with my coach, what's the difference between her game on hard court and clay. For sure we're going to analyze that. Tactically I'm going to be prepared," Swiatek said. "I've never even had a chance to play a practice with her on clay, so I'm not sure how the game is going to look like ...

She's such an experienced player that you have to be ready for variety. You have to be ready for facing a lot of variety in her game."