June 21, 2024
Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek during her Round-of-16 match against Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Madrid Open on Monday.

A runner-up last year to Aryna Sabalenka, Swiatek is bidding for a first title at the only clay-court tournament at WTA 1000 level or above that she has yet to win
Top seed Iga Swiatek stormed into the Madrid Open quarter final with a 6-1, 6-0 defeat of Sara Sorribes Tormo, the last home player remaining in the draw. The Pole won the last 12 games of the match, and dropped just five points in the second set.

A runner-up last year to Aryna Sabalenka, Swiatek is bidding for a first title at the only clay-court tournament at WTA 1000 level or above that she has yet to win.

The Pole improved to 4-0 overall against Sorribes Tormo in their first meeting on clay, and advances to her fifth quarter final of 2024.

Swiatek will next face Beatriz Haddad Maia, the 11th seed, who also preserved an unbeaten record to reach her second quarter final of the season.
The 27-year-old is now 4-0 overall against Maria Sakkari after defeating the fifth seed 6-4, 6-4.

“We played many tough matches against each other so it’s not going to be easy,” said the Polish world No.1 of Haddad Maia. “She’s always a very intense player and knows how to play on clay.”

Demand for respect
Tunisian star Ons Jabeur called out the organisers of European tournaments for failing to “respect” women players by giving preferential treatment to men at combined events, after she swept into the quarter finals.

Jabeur dismissed ninth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-0, 6-4 but later took a swipe at tournament organisers, telling reporters she believes tennis still has a way to go to achieve gender equality, despite it being the leader in women’s sport.

“Definitely tennis is a sport that I’m proud to play in as a woman,” said the world No.9. “But I feel like we have a long way, especially here in Madrid and in Rome, in Europe in general.

“I feel like they need to respect women more and they need to respect how we are playing.”

Sharing examples from her personal experiences at events, Jabeur said women players were not given the same access to practice courts as the men, and noted how WTA matches were not shown on TV as frequently as ATP matches.

Nadal advances
Rafael Nadal’s body withstood its toughest test yet at the Madrid Open as he needed three sets and more than three hours to get past 91st-ranked Pedro Cachin.

Nadal didn’t show any signs of physical limitations as he won 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3 to make it to the round of 16 at the clay-court tournament where he is the record five-time champion. He will next face 31st-ranked Jiri Lehecka.

Daniil Medvedev overcame a stern test from Sebastian Korda, where he came within two points of defeat before eventually advancing 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3.

In a tight battle, the 28-year-old hit Korda’s forehand more as the match wore on, with the American’s backhand consistently solid for large periods.

Medvedev, who committed 24 unforced errors in the match, refused to miss in key moments, crucially holding serve from 4-5, deuce in the second set.

After converting on his second set point in the second set, Medvedev gained the decisive break of the decider in the eighth game, eventually advancing after two hours and 23 minutes.

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