Djoker battles past Dimitrov

ROME, May 14

Novak Djokovic continued his Italian Open title defence with a 6-3 4-6 6-1 victory over Bulgarian 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov here today while women’s champion Iga Swiatek dished out another “bagel” as she defeated Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.

Djokovic, who will lose his world No. 1 ranking at the end of the Masters 1000 tournament to Carlos Alcaraz, overcame a sluggish start and a late comeback attempt by familiar opponent Dimitrov to get over the line in their third-round meeting.

Two-time defending champion Swiatek earlier dropped the first two games of her third-round clash with Tsurenko. But the world No. 1 hit back to claim the next 12 for a 6-2 6-0 victory that extended her Rome win streak to 13 matches. The Polish top seed had mowed down former French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0 6-0 in her last match. — Reuters

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