Iga Swiatek vs Aryna Sabalenka
Time: 10:00 PM IST
In the semifinals of the Madrid Open, Iga Swiatek faced off against Veronika Kudermetova in a late-night match. Despite the odds, Swiatek delivered an impressive performance, winning the match with ease and extending her unbeaten record against Kudermetova to 4-0. She managed to fend off all five breakpoints, with her unforced error count remaining in single digits throughout the match. This victory made Swiatek the third player in the Open Era to convert their first eight clay-court semifinals into finals, and the first since Venus Williams achieved this feat between 1998 and 2003.
This win was just the latest achievement for the 21-year-old tennis star, who recently became the youngest player to win six WTA clay titles since Martina Hingis in 2000. Swiatek’s previous appearance in Madrid saw her settle for a third-round finish, but this time around, she dominated her opponents, winning four of five rounds in straight sets and only facing a tough three-setter against Ekaterina Alexandrova. With this victory, she became the first Polish player to reach the Madrid final and is now aiming to become the third world No. 1 to win the tournament, after Dinara Safina in 2009 and Serena Williams in 2013.
Meanwhile, Aryna Sabalenka advanced to the championship round of the Stuttgart Open after a convincing win against Maria Sakkari. She has only dropped one set in the tournament so far and is seeking to repeat her 2021 victory at the event. This would make her the fourth woman to win the tournament multiple times, after Petra Kvitova (3), Simona Halep (2), and Serena Williams (2). Sabalenka has already reached five finals this season, a feat that has not been accomplished since Victoria Azarenka in 2012. While she has won against Linda Noskova and Elena Rybakina in Adelaide and the Australian Open, respectively, she suffered losses to Rybakina in Indian Wells and Iga Swiatek in Stuttgart.
Swiatek looks too strong at the moment and we expect her to make it past the line in Madrid fairly comfortably.
Prediction: Back Swiatek to win 2-0