ROME: With a difficult victory over Victoria Azarenka at the Italian Open, world number one Iga Swiatek extended her winning run to 25 matches.
Swiatek of Poland overcame a poor start to defeat the Belarusian 6-4 6-1 in the second round of the Rome Open.
The opening set lasted one hour and twenty minutes, with seven service breaks.
Swiatek dropped her serve in the first game of the second set but rallied to regain control and earn a quarter-final match against Bianca Andreescu of Canada.
The 20-year-old Pole has ruled the WTA Tour in recent months, seizing the opportunity to take Ashleigh Barty's spot at the top of the rankings when the 25-year-old Australian announced her surprise retirement in March.
The 2020 French Open winner will begin her quest for her second Grand Slam championship later this month when Roland Garros begins on May 22.