Iga Swiatek came through a struggle with a fellow No. 1 as the top seed managed to get past Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 on Monday to reach the Rome Masters quarter-finals.

The current reigning top player was tested in the first set, with the three-time Grand Slam champion German fighting off five set points for 5-all before finally dropping the opener two games later after saving another two Swiatek set-winners.

The Polish top seed captured the set on her eighth try as No. 331 Kerber hit the net with a backhand after nearly an hour of play.

The 33-year-old veteran has resumed her career this season after giving birth last summer and has now lost all three of her career matches against her 22-year-old opponent.

Swiatek had it easier in the second set but had to recover from losing serve in the first game on a double-fault; she broker Kerber twice to advance at the Foro Italico   

“I wanted to play well and focus on what I had to do,” the winner said. “I have every respect for Angelique, she’s back and paying well.

“I can;t take anything for granted,  there is pressure every week for sure.”

Swiatek reached the last eight with 20 winners and 23 unforced errors.

Her upcoming opponent will be Madison Keys, who defeated Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-1.

Swiatek is still chasing the rare Madrid-Rome clay title double, hoping to match the 2013 effort of Serena Williams,

Kerber, who stood atop the rankings three times in 2016-2017, lost for the 16th time in 17 matches against a No. 1, with her lone win coming against Serena Williams at 2016 Australian Open on her way to the title.