No.1 seed Iga Swiatek booked her place in the fourth round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Yulia Putintseva, coming from 4-1 down in the second set to extend her winning streak to eight matches.

The two-time Rome champion is seeking to back up her first Madrid title last week with a third trophy in the Italian capital, which would make her only the third player to win both Rome and Madrid in the same year. She took one step further toward that goal with her fourth victory over Putintseva in as many matches, all of which have come in straight sets.

However, the 1-hour, 46-minute contest was the toughest of those wins to date. Putintseva found repeated success with her signature drop shot and held four points to take a 5-1 lead in the second set. Swiatek needed all of her resilience to survive the multiple-deuce game.

What makes Putintseva such a tough opponent -- and how does Swiatek deal with her so well?

With 11 Top 10 wins under her belt and back-to-back WTA 1000 quarterfinal appearances in Miami and Madrid this year, Putintseva thrives on being a thorn in the side of more powerful opponents. Swiatek was on the receiving end of that at times; even her renowned speed couldn't track down some of the Kazakhstani's finely-cut drop shots.

"She's tough opponent because she's changing the rhythm a lot," Swiatek said afterward. "She's also, as you could see today, playing differently. She was two meters behind the baseline on the return, which she didn't do before. She can mix it up. She has a good touch. I think that's what makes her tricky."

Tricky as Putintseva may be, the story today was ultimately of Swiatek's continued dominance of their head-to-head.

"I just wanted to stick to my 'solid game' and balance the risk," she said. "And also know that there's no point sometimes to play too hard, because she's going to use your power anyway. I think I can do that well. I've done that before when I played against her. Today, as well."

Who has managed to pull off the Madrid/Rome double in the past, and is it on Swiatek's radar this year?

Only two players have won Madrid and Rome in the same year. In 2009, the first year Madrid was held at WTA 1000 level, Dinara Safina swept both tournaments. Rome was held first, and was the tougher title run for the No.1 seed. She had to come from a set down in three consecutive rounds to defeat Zheng Jie, María José Martínez Sánchez and Venus Williams before winning the final 6-3, 6-2 over Svetlana Kuznetsova. But in Madrid, Safina conceded only one set, to Lucie Safarova in the third round.

Four years later, Serena Williams followed in Safina's footsteps, this time with Madrid held first. The American suffered a rare 6-0 setback in the Madrid quarterfinals to Anabel Medina Garrigues, but eventually pulled through 6-3, 0-6, 7-5. However, she was utterly dominant in Rome, dropping just 14 games in five matches.

Before Madrid became a WTA 1000 tournament in 2009, a Tier I event in Berlin held that spot in the calendar. Between 1982 and 2008, three players won Rome and Berlin back-to-back: Stefanie Graf in 1987, Monica Seles in 1990 and Amélie Mauresmo in 2004.

It's too early for Swiatek to have a similar feat on her radar.

"Winning next match is on my radar," she said. "As usual, taking everything step-by-step is the best way to go. There's still a long way."

Moreover, since both Madrid and Rome expanded their draws to 96 players and became two-week events last year, pulling off the double is an even more daunting task. But historically, doing so presages success at Roland Garros. Of the five women who won both Rome and Madrid or Berlin in the same year, three took their winning streaks into Paris and lifted the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen: Graf, Seles and Williams. In 2009, Safina fell to Kuznetsova in the final. In 2004, Mauresmo's campaign was ended by Elena Dementieva in the quarterfinals. Even so, both of those were career-best Roland Garros runs for the pair.

What's next for Swiatek?

Former World No.1 Angelique Kerber awaits in the fourth round after the German defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3, 7-6(4). This week marks the second time Kerber has reached the last 16 of a WTA 1000 event since returning from maternity leave in January; she also made that stage in Indian Wells.

Swiatek holds a 2-0 lead over Kerber. In 2022, she battled to a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win in the Indian Wells fourth round as part of the historic 37-match winning streak she compiled that year. In January, she routed Kerber 6-3, 6-0 in the United Cup final.