World No.1 Iga Swiatek is back in the Mutua Madrid Open fourth round, courtesy of a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No.28 seed Bernarda Pera of the United States on Sunday.
Swiatek, who came through her opener against Julia Grabher with the exact same scoreline, looked at ease on the clay at the Caja Magica, firing 16 winners and just nine unforced errors in her 75-minute victory.
This is just Swiatek’s second appearance at the Madrid showpiece – made her debut in 2021 and missed 2022 with a shoulder injury – and the three-time Grand Slam champion has been enjoying her time in the Spanish capital so far.
“The courts are pretty amazing, the whole facility is great,” said Swiatek.
“You feel like it’s new and innovative and there’s a lot of technology, which is nice. And the fans are really happy and enthusiastic. This is the first time I’m staying a little bit closer to the city centre of Madrid so I’m able to do a bit of sightseeing and the city is amazing. When I was here two years ago it was during Covid, so we were stuck in the hotel. So right now I’m really enjoying it and Madrid is really beautiful.”
Swiatek was broken at love in the third game, thanks to some punishing lefty groundstrokes from Pera. But the top seed responded immediately and snatched four games in a row to open up a 5-2 advantage.
Pera saved a set point on her own serve in game eight but it only briefly delayed the conclusion of the frame as Swiatek held at love to scoop the opening set in 37 minutes.
The second set went by smoothly for Swiatek as she led by a double-break to sail ahead 5-1 and the two-time Roland-Garros champion soon secured passage into the fourth round, where she takes on No.22 seed Zheng Qinwen or Ekaterina Alexandrova.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy. Every match is tricky here,” said Swiatek of her duel with Pera, who saved 9/13 break points in defeat.
“I’m happy that I played a little bit better every day and I’m happy that I’m getting my rhythm. Playing against a lefty is never easy so I think Bernarda really used it. But I’m pretty happy that I was really disciplined and focused.”