Thursday September 28th, 2023 1:07AM

Swiatek sweeps aside Tsurenko to reach 4th round of Italian Open; Rune eliminates Fognini

By The Associated Press

ROME (AP) — Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek swept aside Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the fourth round of the Italian Open on Sunday and extend her winning streak at the Foro Italico to 13 matches.

Having routed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 6-0 in her opening match after a bye in the first round, Swiatek has now dropped just two games over four sets.

Swiatek produced 22 winners to Tsurenko’s two.

If she raises the trophy again, Swiatek will join Chris Evert and Conchita Martínez as the third woman to win three consecutive titles in Rome.

The top-ranked Swiatek will next meet either 16th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova or 21st-seeded Donna Vekic, who were playing later.

Also advancing on the red clay was 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova, who beat ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-3.

Madison Keys advanced to the last 16 when Victoria Azarenka withdrew before their match due to a right leg injury.

In men’s action, Holger Rune kept his composure amid a partisan crowd and eliminated Fabio Fognini, the veteran Italian, 6-4, 6-2.

Fognini took issue with a call early in the first set and protested at length to the chair umpire when his shot was called out after the mark was checked.

“How you can call this ball out? How can you make this mistake? There is no space,” Fognini said. “It’s impossible. How you can be so bad?”

Daniil Medvedev posted his first career win in Rome by beating Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-2. The Russian had lost his opener in his previous three appearances at the Foro.

Also, Stefanos Tsitsipas needed just two games to finish off a second-round win over Nuno Borges, 6-3, 6-3, in a match that had been suspended due to rain on Saturday.

Later, six-time Rome champion Novak Djokovic was playing Grigor Dimitrov and local favorite Jannik Sinner was up against Alexander Shevchenko.


Andrew Dampf is at


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