July 16, 2024
Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek kicked off her Madrid Open campaign with a confident victory, but suggestions that winning her maiden title in the Spanish capital is weighing heavily on the world No 1’s mind is far off the mark.

The Madrid Open trophy is the only big clay-court title that is still missing from Swiatek’s impressive CV as she has won three Roland Garros trophies, two Italian Open titles and two Porsche Tennis Grand Prix titles.

“Obviously [winning Madrid would mean] a lot,” the Pole said. “Winning any tournament like that, a big one, is a big thing. It’s not something you get used to. You always want to fight for it.”
To be fair to Swiatek, she is featuring in the main draw in Madrid for only the third time in her career as she reached the third round on her debut in 2021, missed the 2022 edition and finished runner-up to Aryna Sabalenka last year after going down in three sets.

Asked if the missing Madrid title was playing on her mind, the 22-year-old said: “I don’t think that way. Basically, I don’t think about winning at the beginning anyway.

“Obviously every tournament has [a] different atmosphere and is special in its own way. But on the other hand, it’s a WTA 1000, and it doesn’t really matter at the end which one I’m going to win.

“Every big tournament I win is going to give me confidence no matter where it is or what it looks like.

“So I don’t really mind. I’m going to try to win every tournament I play at and that’s all.”
She took her record at the WTA 1000 tournament to 8-2 on Thursday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Wang Xiyu, but there is room for improvement.

The Pole had a 6-1, 4-1 advantage before Wang threatened to take it to a decider as she made to 4-4, but the four-time Grand Slam winner eventually closed out the match.

“In the second set, I’m not happy with these two games where my intensity got a little bit down, but overall I knew what I had to do. I’m happy that I came back on the nice track and I finished with a nice score,” she said.

Swiatek will continue her journey on Saturday when she faces 27th seed Sorana Cirstea in the third round while there could be a fourth-round encounter against 23rd seed Victoria Azarenka on the cards.

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