Iga Swiatek is moving into rarefied air.
The world No. 1 won her 25th match in a row as she beat two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka to reach the quarter-finals of the Italian Open.
Swiatek came from 0-3 down to edge a 79-minute opening set before winning 6-4 6-1 to set up a quarter-final clash with Bianca Andreescu.
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Only four women have compiled longer winning streaks this century – Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Justine Henin and Azarenka.
Venus Williams won 35 matches in a row from Wimbledon 2000 to the Linz final later that year, while Serena Williams’ longest winning run was 34 matches in 2013 from the Miami Open to Wimbledon.
Henin reeled off 32 wins in a row, ending in the 2008 Australian Open quarter-finals, and Azarenka had a 26-match winning run at the start of 2012 from Sydney to Miami. Serena Williams also had a 27-match streak from the 2014 WTA Finals to the 2015 Madrid Open semi-finals.
Swiatek will move to fourth on the list with 28 victories if she defends her Italian Open title this week.
Looking ahead to her first career meeting with Andreescu, Swiatek said: “Bianca’s a great player. Watching her last year, it really struck me how much variety she has, the drop shots. It's really nice to watch her game.
“It's going to be a really exciting match, but for me the most important thing is to get more and more comfortable on clay."
Swiatek’s winning streak is also challenging the best on the men’s side this century.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray are the only male players to have won more than 25 matches in a row since 2000.
Murray’s longest winning run of 28 matches came at the end of the 2016 season when he went on a tear to grab the world No. 1 ranking away from Djokovic.
Murray won five tournaments in a row, including the ATP Finals, and then reached the final of the Doha Open the following year.
Nadal reeled off 20 straight wins earlier this season, but his run is 32 in 2008. The streak included titles at the French Open, Queen’s, Wimbledon and the Canadian Open.
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Federer had a 41-match winning run which stretched from the 2006 US Open to Indian Wells in 2007, while Djokovic holds the record for most consecutive matches won this century with 43.
The current world No. 1 won the first two matches in the streak at the 2010 Davis Cup before a dominant start to the 2011 season as he went undefeated until the French Open semi-finals.
Asked about her winning streak, Swiatek said: "It doesn't really matter for me because every match is different. In many matches, I struggled this season, even though I won them. Anything can happen. Every match is a different story."
Andreescu is into the quarter-finals of a WTA 1000 for the first time since she made the final of the Miami Open in early 2021.
She is relishing the challenge of facing Swiatek.
“She's playing great tennis,” said the 21-year-old. “I really admire her success. But I'm very excited to player her. I love the challenge.
"It's really nice to see that we started in the juniors together and watching us both excel at the same time is awesome."
Andreescu beat qualifier Martic in one hour and 43 minutes, saving six of seven break points and converting three of four.
Aryna Sabalenka advanced with a 6-1 6-4 win over Madrid Open runner-up Jessica Pegula and Jil Teichmann beat Elena Rybakina 6-7(3) 6-3 7-5.
Sabalenka will next face Amanda Anisimova after she won an all-American clash 6-2 6-2 against Danielle Collins.
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