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ROME (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic continued his Italian Open title defence with a 6-3 4-6 6-1 victory over Bulgarian twenty sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday whereas ladies’s champion Iga Swiatek dished out one other “bagel” as she defeated Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.
Djokovic, who will lose his world primary rating on the finish of the Masters 1000 event to Carlos Alcaraz, overcame a sluggish begin and a late comeback try by acquainted opponent Dimitrov to recover from the road of their third-round assembly.
Each gamers surrendered serve early within the first set earlier than Djokovic raised his sport to drag away for a 4-1 lead, and an eleventh victory over Dimitrov in 12 conferences started to look inevitable.
Dimitrov, whose solely win over the Serbian world primary got here 10 years in the past in Madrid, produced a decent maintain however couldn’t stop his opponent from operating away with the opening set and grabbing the benefit within the subsequent.
The previous world quantity three did nevertheless reel off 4 straight video games from 2-4 to take the second set and pressure a decider. However Djokovic responded strongly and let loose a roar after securing a double break within the third set and held agency this time to advance.
Two-times defending champion Swiatek earlier dropped the primary two video games of her third-round conflict with Tsurenko. However the world primary hit again to assert the subsequent 12 for a 6-2 6-0 victory that prolonged her Rome win streak to 13 matches.
The Polish prime seed has regarded in ominous type on the Foro Italico having mowed down former French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0 6-0 and can proceed her build-up to Roland Garros with a conflict towards Liudmila Samsonova or Donna Vekic.
Former Paris runner-up Marketa Vondrousova knocked out Greek ninth seed Maria Sakkari 7-5 6-3 and may have one other likelihood to proceed her giant-killing run in Rome when she takes on Elena Rybakina or Anna Kalinskaya within the spherical of 16.
Sixth seed Coco Gauff later crashed out towards Marie Bouzkova, who sealed a 4-6 6-2 6-2 win.
Daniil Medvedev broke his Rome duck on his fourth try with a medical second-round win over Emil Ruusuvuori.
“It is somewhat bit (of a reduction),” Medvedev stated after his 6-4 6-2 win. “Every time I come to a event, I do know that I can play properly, so I am pleased to lastly get the win right here in Rome.”
Final 12 months’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas additionally cruised into the third spherical, needing solely 5 minutes to win the 2 video games wanted to finish a 6-3 6-3 victory after the competition was suspended on Saturday because of rain.
Seventh seed Holger Rune was equally spectacular in his 6-4 6-2 win over native favorite Fabio Fognini and can meet Alexei Popyrin in spherical 4 after the Australian overcame Roman Safiullin 7-5 7-5.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Enhancing by Hugh Lawson)