The streak goes on. Iga Swiatek has won all five of her matches on clay so far this year and is now in the third round at the Mutua Madrid Open. The recent champion in Stuttgart was unfaltering in her Friday opener in the Caja Mágica, where she beat Julia Grabher 6-3, 6-2 in just one hour and 18 minutes of tennis.
Despite the fact that her opponent had already played three matches in the Spanish capital, two in the qualifying rounds, which she came through as a lucky loser, plus her first-round clash in the main draw, she failed to cause many problems for the WTA No. 1, who adapted perfectly to the conditions under the floodlights of the Manolo Santana Stadium in the first match of the night session.
On Sunday, the Pole will be bidding for a place in the last sixteen of the MMOPEN, the round she reached in 2021 on her only other appearance at the event, against Bernarda Pera. The American, seed No.28, beat German player Tatjana Maria in two sets, 6-1, 6-3.
Swiatek and Pera have not crossed paths since 2019. Their only previous clash came in Birmingham, on grass, when the thirteen-time WTA champion had to dig deep to come back to win the third-round encounter 2-6, 7-6, 6-4. The player from Warsaw will be sure to approach Sunday’s match with caution.
The two-time French Open champion (2020 and 2022) can now use Madrid to continue to build on her preparations for her title defence in Paris and aspire to what would be a fourth Grand Slam crown, having added the US Open to her haul in 2022. This season, with 21 wins and just 4 defeats to her name, she has so far claimed the titles in Doha and the aforementioned Stuttgart.