The world No.1 and double defending champion Iga Swiatek gave herself a quiet warm-up for her entry into the Rome tournament on Friday, beating Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (42nd) 6-0, 6-0.
In this second round match, the 21-year-old Polish recited her tennis for 1 hour and 20 minutes against the 31-year-old Russian who tried everything, in vain, to disrupt the winner of the 2021 and 2022 editions.
Swiatek will continue her preparation for Roland-Garros (May 28-June 11), where she is also defending champion, meeting in the next round the Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko (68th) or the American Bernarda Pera (32nd).
The Pole is the big favorite in a women’s tournament which has already lost several headliners on Thursday with the eliminations of world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka, No.3 Jessica Pegula and the 2019 winner and ex-N. 1 Karolina Pliskova.
“The competition is very tough this year,” said the Pole as she left the court.
“I’m happy to be back, I have a lot of confidence here, but every tournament is a new journey, you have to stay focused,” she added.