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Swiatek Stamps Shutout, Badosa Upsets Jabeur in Rome

Iga Swiatek of Poland in action against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round on Day Five of the Internazionali BNL D’Italia at Foro Italico on May 12, 2023 in Rome, Italy Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images

Defeat doesn’t demoralize Iga Swiatek—it inspires her to dirt demolition.

Today, the world No. 1 blasted by former French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 6-0 dishing out a double-bagel dismissal in just 67 minutes in her Rome opener.

The two-time defending Rome champion made smooth transition from Madrid’s faster and higher bouncing clay court to Rome’s slower red clay raising her record in the Eternal City to 12-1. 

It is Swiatek’s 12th straight Rome win and her 47th victory in her last 51 clay-court matches. The three-time Grand Slam champion stands alone as the lone former Rome champion still standing in the field.

“I don’t know if the best, but for sure I feel pretty confident here,” Swiatek told the media in Rome. “I feel like these are the right circumstances and right conditions for me to, like, play my solid game. So I’m happy to be here and I’m happy that I’m back.”

Swiatek converted her seventh set point to take a one-set lead. 

The top seed should take satisfaction in this shutout after a slew of seeds have stumbled out of the draw.

Former Indian Wells champion Paula Badosa rolled through five straight games sparking a 6-1, 6-4 upset of fourth-seeded Ons Jabeur.

The 35th-ranked Spaniard maintained her mastery of the talented Tunisian beating Jabeur, who was playing her first match since suffering a calf injury in Stuttgart last month, for the fourth time in five meetings.

The 2022 finalist Jabeur’s loss comes the day after second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka fell to 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and third-seeded Jessica Pegula lost to compatriot Taylor Townsend.

It’s the second straight week Badosa has beaten a Top 10 player on clay. Badosa swept sixth-ranked Coco Gauff in Madrid last week.

Next up for former world No. 2 Badosa is a round of 32 meeting with Marta Kostyuk.

The 32nd-seeded Kostyuk conquered Claire Lu 6-0, 6-4.

Six days after she lost a dramatic three-set Mutua Madrid Open final to world No. 2 Sabalenka, Swiatek ravaged the Russian’s second serve today. Swiatek won 20 of 23 points played on Pavyluchenkova’s second serve and broke serve six times.

A relentless Swiatek said she’s too busy playing each point to worry about scoreline sympathy for the unfortunate opponent on the opposite side of the net.

“In my opinion, like, the score doesn’t really matter and it doesn’t have any influence on my feeling on the court,” Swiatek said. “I’m just trying to play best tennis no matter what the score is…

“Even if I would [feel sorry for my opponent], I don’t want to lose points on purpose. It doesn’t make sense. So I’m always going to be that kind of player who wants to win the next point. I think most of us have that kind of feeling.”

The 21-year-old Swiatek improved to 26-5 on the season and will face either Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko or American Bernarda Pera next.