(Rome) Iga Swiatek was put to the test before pulling herself together and beating ex-world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-1 on Thursday, earning her 25th consecutive victory and reach the quarter-finals of the Roman tournament at the same time.
Azarenka quickly took the lead 3-0, but the Pole fought back winning five games in a row to claim the first set in an hour and 20 minutes.
The tournament favorite will now face 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, who ousted Croatian Petra Martic 6-4, 6-4.
Swiatek, the defending champion in Rome, is trying to win a fifth tournament in a row.
The last player to win that many consecutive matches was American Serena Williams, who won 27 in a row between 2014 and 2015.
This streak makes Swiatek the favorite to win a second career title at the French Open, which begins in less than 10 days.
Swiatek had to work hard to keep her serve on clay at Foro Italico, however, as evidenced by the number of points she had to negotiate on serve against rivals Belarus — 98 to 47.
Meanwhile, third seed Aryna Sabalenka defeated Madrid Open runner-up Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-4.
On the men’s side, Stefanos Tsitsipas came from behind to beat Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 to record a 29th win already this season.
Meanwhile, 2017 Italian Open champion Alexander Zverev, who just took part in the Madrid Open final, beat Alex De Minaur 6-3, 7-6 (5).
On the other hand, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal and the Serbian Novak Djokovic will be in action later today “Rafa” will face the Ontarian Denis Shapovalov, while Djokovic will have a date with the Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.