The top half of WTA 1000 Internazionali BNL D'Italia main draw have competed today in the matches of 2nd round, where the seeds from this section started their Rome campaign. Iga Swiatek has started her title defence in a fabulous style, winning 6-0 6-0 against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian, who entered the tournament on the basis of protected ranking, played an impressive match against Sara Errani in the opening round, winning it 6-1 6-1 and scoring 40 winners. Today's performance against the world's ranking leader was nowhere near that for the Roland Garros 2021 runner-up, as Swiatek did not allow her opponent to win any single game. The scoreline can not reflect the play dynamics to well, especially in first set, which has lasted 38 minutes despite being ended up with a bagel. Swiatek has faced one breakpoint in 5th game, which she held after 4 deuces. 6th game was a highlight, as Pavlyuchenkova defended 6 setpoints during own service game, but Swiatek clinched it finally after 7 attempts. Second set was almost no contenction though. Swiatek did not need to put her 5th gear today, but the solid performance with 19 winners compared to 9 unforced errors was more than enough to crush her opponent so heavily.
Paula Badosa defeated Ons Jabeur in the match which was expected to be a hit clash since the main draw reveal on last week's Sunday. Badosa, who raises up with her performance during recent weeks, was rated as a slight pre-match favorite against Jabeur, who comes back after another injury issues, which naggle her since the start of the season. The Tunisian was far away from the form displayed in Stuttgart, where she advanced into semifinals and did not made it too difficult for Badosa to advance into 3rd round in a comfortable way, especially in the opening set. The Spaniard started flawlessly from winning 5 games in a row and clinched it with a score 6-1. The second one started better for Jabeur, who took the lead after gaining the break in 4th game. Badosa reffered for the great performance from first set though, winning 5 out of 6 following games and secured the win after 72 minutes with a score 6-1 6-4. This results with an elimination of 2nd, 3rd and 4th seed just after second round of the tournament, after the shocking upsets suffered by Aryna Sabalenka and Jessica Pegula yesterday.
Elena Rybakina did not dissapoint in her match against Jasmine Paolini, as the 7th seed made it through in straight sets, winning 7-6(4) 6-1. The opening set was quite a tricky one for the Kazakh, who started well with earning 2 breaks just after the start, moving into 3-0 lead. The Italian managed to fight back, as she came back level by breaking Rybakina 2 times in a row as well. Paolini was leading in the tiebreak, as she was 3-1 up, but Rybakina won 6 out of 7 following points to grab the set. The second one was a one way traffic, as the reigning Wimbledon champion has started with 2 breaks in a row again, but did not slip away her advantage this time and moved forward into 3rd round. It's a good opportunity for the revenge related to the lose suffered in 2nd round of Mutua Madrid Open two weeks ago, as Rybakina meets Anna Kalinskaya there. The Russian prevailed against Elise Mertens in three sets, winning 6-4 4-6 6-3 after 2.5 hours of battle.
Friday was a day of mixed fortunes for the local crowd. Camila Giorgi was the only one to take the victory today, as the experienced Italian managed to eliminate the 15th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova with a confident win 6-4 6-2. Giorgi could set up the all-Italian 3rd round clash against the top ranked local player Martina Trevisan. This not happens though, as Trevisan lost to Karolina Muchova after almost 3 hours of fight, which ended up with a score 3-6 6-3 7-5 for the favour of Muchova who seals the comeback into top 50 of WTA rankings after her return to the competition caused by the injuries last year. This match could be considered as a story of the day, especially regarding the plot twists which happened in 3rd set. Muchova started it on the front foot, earning the 4-0 lead. Trevisan did not give up and fought back by winning 5 games in a row since then. Muchova, who lost all of her advantage, needed to serve to stay alive in this match, and was in a big trouble in 10th game, as Trevisan produced the breakpoint, which was the matchpoint at the same time. The Czech missed her first serve, but Trevisan wasted the opportunity, hitting the return of relatively easy 2nd serve just into the net. Muchova made a crucial hold there and regained her advantage in the following game, as she broke the home favorite again and clinched the victory.