Iga Swiatek’s flawless start to the clay swing is gaining momentum at the Mutua Madrid Open. With a ticket to the semi-finals in her pocket, the Pole has now claimed her eighth win in as many matches since starting her title-winning campaign in Stuttgart.
The world number one stamped her authority on the Manolo Santana Stadium on Wednesday to send Petra Martic packing, 6-0, 6-3 in just one hour and ten minutes. The defending US Open champion is still unbeaten against the Croat, whom she defeated two seasons ago in their only previous encounter, in Indian Wells.
“I think it was a pretty solid performance and a clean performance. I’m pretty happy with the way I was focused. Kind of consistent with my tactics, and I think it just paid off. At the beginning the altitude is pretty uncomfortable, but for sure today I felt like I already got the rhythm and I got used to the altitude. It’s hard to compare to different venues, but I feel pretty good here right now”, she said.
On Thursday in the Spanish capital, not before 21:00 CET, Swiatek will be gunning for her fourth final of the season against Veronika Kudermetova. The twelfth seed sprung a surprise on the women’s world No. 3, the American Jessica Pegula, in two hours and five minutes of tennis, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4.
“So this is the challenge. But I think I’m pretty happy that I played both during day here and during night so I got the full experience. It doesn’t really matter, I guess. This hour is tricky only because what’s going on after, you know, going to sleep really late and then waking up the next day. We just have to kind of adjust tactics”, clarified about playing again in the night session.
Last year, the two-time French Open champion (2020 and 2022) also arrived at the second Grand Slam of the season without any defeats on clay, having claimed nine consecutive wins and picking up titles in Stuttgart and Rome along the way. She missed the MMOPEN through a shoulder injury that prevented her from extending her run.
Another carrot dangling in front of Swiatek in the Caja Mágica is the opportunity to pick up her fifth different WTA 1000 crown of the nine available, after those she has already claimed in Rome (2021, 2022), Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami (all last year).
“Well, just getting the experience of playing here and kind of it was easier and easier every match to stay disciplined sometimes and make the right decisions. But right now it became more natural, and I can use my intuition a little bit more. That’s what I was looking for. Still, I’m going to take it step by step”, she has concluded about his goals in Madrid.