Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Swietec beats Azarenka to register 25th consecutive win at the Italian Open

ROME ( Associated Press) – Top-ranked Inga Swietek was tested and secured a 6-4, 6-1 win over former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka to reach the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Thursday, raising her winning streak to 25. extended to matches.

Azarenka took a 3-0 lead and Sweetek won five straight games in the first set that lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes.

In Rome, the defending champions, Sweetek, are looking to win their fifth consecutive tournament.

The last player to win more matches in a row was Serena Williams, who had 27 consecutive runs in 2014 and 2015.

Sweetek’s race has made him a strong contender for a second French Open win as the year’s second Grand Slam begins in 10 days.

In a sign of how challenging it was for Swietec to serve on the red clay courts at Foro Italico, he played more than twice as many points as Azarenka – 98 to 47.

Azarenka, facing a late break point in the first set, was stunned when a spectator barged into the front row of the mostly empty VIP section just behind her. When he double-faulted to hand over control of the set to Sweetek, he slammed his racket in desperation and complained to the chair umpire about the mid-game interruption.

Swietek will next take on 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, who defeated Croatian qualifier Petra Martic 6-4, 6-4.

Also third seed Aryna Sabalenka beat Madrid Open finalist Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-4.

In the men’s tournament, Stefanos Tsitsipas scored the Tour’s biggest win, defeating Karen Khachanov 4–6, 6–0, 6–3 for his 29th win of the year.

Also, 2017 Rome champion Alexander Zverev, who is also coming off a run in the Madrid final, defeated Alex de Minaur 6-3, 7-6(5).

Zverev, who is still searching for his first title of the year, has his father and coach, Alexander, back on the circuit with him after a long absence, as the family has kept him personal.

When Zverev won the ATP Finals In November, his elder brother and fellow supporter Misha was coaching him.

“I was missing a coach for six months. That’s what was missing,” said Zverev. “That’s why I took Sergi Bruguera – because we didn’t know how long it would take for my father to come back.

“I’m so happy to have him back here. It also gives me a certain calmness, a certain confidence, because he’s been there since the beginning of my career. I think nobody knows me better than him on the court.”

Ten-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal and five-time winner Novak Djokovic were playing the latter. Djokovic met Stan Wawrinka and Nadal met Denis Shapovalov.


More Associated Press Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndrewDampf


Nation World News Desk
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