Iga Swiatek’s return to the circuit from injury began on a triumphant note at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. The world no. 1 defeated Qinwen Zheng in their opening-round clash 6-1, 6-4 to take her place in the quarter-finals.
This was the third time Swiatek and Zheng were taking on each other and it was also the easiest win that Swiatek had had against her Chinese opponent. On both past two occasions, she’d needed the deciding set to come through.
In Stuttgart on Thursday, Swiatek needed only 86 minutes to notch the win. Swiatek was broken once in the match, in the second set. She, however, converted four of eight break points that came her way. For the match, the reigning champion in the tournament won 62 points, 20 more than her opponent.
Post-match, Swiatek said, “I felt like I needed to be 100% focused from the beginning to the end, to think about technique and tactics. I'm pretty happy that I'm not rusty and I could perform good tennis, even though I had a break”.
For a place in the semi-finals, Swiatek will now play Karolina Pliskova. Pliskova won the first match of the day against Croatian Donna Vekic, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-6(5) after almost two-and-a-half-hours.
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix: Anastasia Potapova gets Coco Gauff's number
Anastasia Potapova routed Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-3 in 77 minutes in their round-of-16 clash.
Both players had 15 winners each. But the American had 52 unforced errors more than twice as many as Potapova’s 21. Following this win, Potapova’s levelled her head-to-head with Gauff at two wins and defeats apiece.
Earlier this year, Potapova won a match against Gauff for the first time at the Miami Open. Gauff had previously won both their first two encounters, at the 2019 US Open and 2021 Montreal Open. In the quarter-finals, Potapova’s opponent will be fourth seed Caroline Garcia.
The Frenchwoman won 7-6(5), 6-4 against Tatjana Maria. The all-Spanish second-round face-off between Paula Badosa and Cristina Bucsa saw the former notch an easy win. Badosa pulled through 6-1, 6-2 in just 70 minutes. Badosa won 79% of her first-serve points and 76% points on return on Bucsa’s second serve.
She also saved five of the six break points she faced while converting five break points of her own. Badosa will play Aryna Sabalenka next. Beatriz Haddad Maia also moved into the quarters of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. The Brazilian who played Elena Rybakina in the second round advanced after the sixth seed was forced to quit their match midway with an injury to her lower back.
Haddad Maia was leading 6-1, 3-1 at the time. Haddad Maia will take on Ons Jabeur next. Photo Credit: Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Twitter