Top seed Swiatek moves into Madrid quarterfinals for first time

Iga Swiatek, the world’s top-ranked player, has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open for the first time with a 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3 victory over Ekaterina Alexandrova. The match lasted for more than two hours and marked Swiatek’s first clay-court meeting against Alexandrova. Swiatek will next face Petra Martic, the 27th seed, who advanced to her second career Madrid quarterfinal with a 6-3, 7-6(1) upset of Barbora Krejcikova.

Despite winning 44 clay-court matches on the Hologic WTA Tour since the start of 2020, Swiatek has yet to master Madrid. In her only previous appearance at the event, she fell to Ashleigh Barty in the 2021 Round of 16 and missed the event last year due to a shoulder injury. Swiatek is recording career-best results in Madrid this year, having prevailed over Alexandrova by converting five of her six break points and winning over half of Alexandrova’s second-serve points.

In the match against Alexandrova, Swiatek initially struggled, making ten unforced errors in the first four games. However, she cleaned up her game and hit only four unforced errors in the next ten games to ease to a 6-4, 4-1 lead. Alexandrova came alive towards the end of the second set, forcing a tiebreak and winning the set. But Swiatek regrouped in the third set, with bold returns giving her a quick break for 2-1, and she won the final eight points of the match to end it in dominant fashion.

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