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Italian Open champion Iga Swiatek has continued her extraordinary run of form, breezing past Romania's Elena-Gabriela Ruse with a 6-3 6-0 victory to move into the last 16.
In the surprise of the day, Switzerland's Jil Teichmann ended Karolina Pliskova's run of reaching three successive Rome finals with 6-2 4-6 6-4 win on Wednesday.
World No.1 Swiatek, who was given a bye into the second round, extended her winning run to 24 matches after converting seven break points to wrap up the match in just 68 minutes.
The Pole, who comes back after skipping the Madrid Open due to a shoulder injury, has fond memories of Rome - the venue for her first WTA 1000 crown - and is looking to add to this year's titles in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami and Stuttgart.
"I'm pretty proud I could get into the rhythm today, just take some lessons during the match and improve my game. That was pretty solid match for me," Swiatek told reporters.
The top seed next faces former world number one Victoria Azarenka, who cruised past Colombia's Camila Osorio 6-2 6-4.
"I've never even had a chance to play a practice with her on clay, so I'm not sure how the game is going to look like," Swiatek said of Azarenka.
"For sure tactically we need to prepare today because she's such an experienced player ... You have to be ready for facing a lot of variety in her game."
Pliskova has enjoyed considerable success at the tournament, winning the title in 2019, before finishing runner-up to Simona Halep and Swiatek over the past two years.
But her 2022 run ended prematurely after she failed to come to grips with Teichmann's power and guile.
Meanwhile, Swiatek isn't the only player on a hot streak as Tunisian Ons Jabeur, who became the first African player to win a WTA 1000 title in Madrid over the weekend, also moved to the next round, beating Australian No.1 Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5 6-2.
"It's never easy to play Ajla. I knew it was going to be a physical match," Jabeur said, after Tomljanovic had come out of the blocks strongly but was outplayed after she'd forged into a 5-3 lead in the opening set.
Jabeur will next face Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva, who knocked out eighth seed Garbine Muguruza in a hard-fought 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 victory.
Elsewhere, seventh-seeded American Danielle Collins overpowered former world No.1 Halep 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 in just over two hours of play.
Croatia's Petra Martic knocked out fifth seed Anett Kontaveit with a 6-2 6-3 victory while 18-year-old Coco Gauff beat compatriot Madison Brengle 6-2 6-4.