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MADRID, May 2 – The last two French Open women’s champions met at the Madrid Open after Ashley Barty and Iga Cvitik qualified for the third round on Saturday.
World number 1 Barty escaped the horror game by defeating Tamara Zidansik in three sets before Polka شvetiek beat Laura Sigmund 6-3, 6-3 and had a thrilling battle on Monday at Caja Majica.
Despite winning in straight sets, the 14th seed needed 11 match points to secure victory in the final.
Barty won her first and only singles title to date at the Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2019, before Swiatek caused an even bigger surprise in Paris last year after the downfall of 2018 champion Simona Halep.
It’s really exciting, ”said Barty. “I’m looking forward to the match. I met her once in Melbourne a few months ago.
“It’s a really cool game. Moves well on brick courts, can slide both legs, and control body really well on sand.
“It’s a challenge that we have to face with a clean board, a little stage to try to understand each other and how our games fit together.”
Barty and Shvetiek will be the favorites at the French Open starting next month. Both players have enjoyed some great runs lately.
Barty’s victory over Zidansky has given them 13 unbeaten matches on the red sands, and Swiatek is now undefeated on the deck of nine.
Swiatick, 19, said she was impressed by Barty’s courageous decision to quit tennis for two years when she was a teenager.
“I really respect her,” said Swiatik. “Basically, I think this is a good example of dealing with expectations just to get away from the game.
“It’s also hard to find. I want to win every game, I want to win now. Sometimes I don’t give myself time. I did.”
The second sentence is Barty
Barty was briefly shaken by Zidansk after playing only one game in the second set, but the Australian rebounded from the decision to go 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in under two hours.
The top seed is looking to win his fourth WTA title in Madrid this year, following his successes in Stuttgart, Miami and Yara Valley Classic in Melbourne.
Few would expect world number 80 Zidansik to bring Parti closer together, but the Slovene stayed at the back of the field and had a variety to guess his opponent.
Barty played the first set despite coming under pressure from the 2-3 serve, when a brilliant rebound attempt hampered Zidanska’s early attempt to break the pass.
Zidansik was fiercer in the second round and broke twice, the second time 5-1 and a backhand.
But she caught a cold in the third game, when Barty went 3-0 up before striking 5-3 when Zidansik’s forehand hit the tape.
“I don’t think there is much,” Barty said.
The passage of ekwiątek was easier, despite Siegemund’s late resistance and only an hour and 40 minutes after triumphing in the brilliant finish did he score world-11 points in the match.
“I learned you had to be patient,” Świątek said. “Laura is a great fighter.”
In another fight between two former Grand Slam champions, Petra Kvitova defeated Angelique Kerber 6: 4, 7: 5.
Three-time Madrid champion, Kvitova was eliminated at the end of each set to secure his victory and reach the Final 16.
15th seed Joanna Conta lost 6-3 6-3 in the qualifiers for Anastasia Sevastova, who reached the semi-finals in Madrid in 2017. – AFP
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