(Madrid) Iga Swiatek once again made it look like success came easily for her at the Madrid Open, reaching the round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Bernarda Pera on Sunday.
First in the world ranking, Swiatek conceded only one break of service and capitalized on four of her 13 opportunities against the American, ranked 32nd in the world.
Swiatek had defeated Julia Grabher by the same score in her first game in Madrid. The Pole has won six duels in a row in her clay-court season while losing only one set.
In her next outing, Swiatek will take on the winner of the match between China’s Zheng Qinwen, seeded 22, and Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, seeded 16.
In another match in the women’s singles draw, American Jessica Pegula, ranked third in the world, had to work harder to overcome Marie Bouzkova, 6-4, 7-6 (2).
Pegula saved 12 of the 14 break points she conceded to her rival.
On the men’s side, Alexander Zverev crushed French qualifier Hugo Grenier 6-1, 6-0 in less than an hour.
Last year, Zverev lost the final game of the tournament to Carlos Alcaraz, who could be his next opponent in the Spanish capital. Later Sunday, Alcaraz will cross swords with the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
Zverev, who had 26 game-winning shots and six service breaks, triumphed in Madrid in 2018 and 2021. He has a career record of 21-3 at this tournament and has reached at least the quarters of final in his last five appearances in Madrid.
Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev improved to 10-1 on clay this season with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Yoshihito Nishioka.
Quarter-finalist last year in Madrid, Rublev won the Monte-Carlo Masters two weeks ago.
In the next round, Rublev will meet compatriot Karen Khachanov, who beat local favorite Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Khachanov, seeded 10, won the last three games of a match that lasted almost three hours.