Iga Swiatek beats Azarenka at Italian Open for 25th straight win

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek was tested before pulling out a 6-4, 6-1 victory over former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka to reach the Italian Open quarterfinals on Thursday and extend her winning streak to 25 matches.

Azarenka took a 3-0 lead before Swiatek won five straight games in a grueling first set that lasted 1 hour, 20 minutes.

The defending champion in Rome, Swiatek is attempting to win her fifth straight tournament.

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

Swiatek’s run makes her a favorite to win a second French Open when the year’s second Grand Slam gets underway in 10 days.

In a sign of how challenging it was for Swiatek to hold serve on the red clay court at the Foro Italico, she played more than twice as many points with her serve than Azarenka did — 98 to 47.

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