Mutua Madrid Open: Iga Swiatek struggles but holds firm to enter last-eight

Mayar Sherif notches huge milestone for self and her country by making to the QF in Spain

by Abbey Johnson
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Mutua Madrid Open: Iga Swiatek struggles but holds firm to enter last-eight

Iga Swiatek had a fight on her hands to reach the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open on Monday. The 21-year-old, ranked the world’s best women’s singles player at the moment came through against 16th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3) after two hours and 25 minutes of play.

Like in her third-round match, Swiatek had a bit of a slow start but she soon picked up pace to go up a set on Alexandrova. In the second set, the no. 1 seed in the Spanish event was broken in the ninth game while she served for the match.

On Alexandrova’s serve in the 10th game, Swiatek had a match point but Alexandrova saved it before claiming the set in the tie-break. The deciding set saw Swiatek dominate again to finish the match on her terms. Following her win, Swiatek said, “That wasn’t an easy match.

In the second set, I had the lead and I lost it, so for sure it wasn’t easy, but I’m pretty happy that I could reset in the third. I was ready, I got a break pretty early, so overall I’m happy with the performance”.

This is the first time Swiatek’s reached this far in the tournament. Looking to make it to the semi-finals, the Pole will now play Petra Martic. The Croatian, seeded 27th, upset 11th seed Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 7-6(1) in their round-of-16 match-up.

Mutua Madrid Open: Mayar Sherif's achievement

Mirra Andreeva’s heroics in Madrid came to an end in the fourth round as second seed Aryna Sabalenka came through their match-up with a 6-3, 6-1 win. Sabalenka completed the win over the 16-year-old in merely 72 minutes.

Mayar Sherif will be Sabalenka’s next rival. The Egyptian marked a WTA 1000 quarter-final debut with an upset over 24th seed Elise Mertens. Sherif won 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 with the match coming short of three hours by just minutes.

This is also a maiden WTA 1000 quarter-final for a player hailing from the North African nation. Veronika Kudermetova also took the same time to prevail 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(2) against eighth seed Daria Kasatkina. The 12th seed will play third seed Jessica Pegula for a chance to reach the semi-finals.

Pegula also needed three sets to beat 18th seed Martina Trevisan, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Maria Sakkari and Irina-Camelia Begu completed the quarter-final line-up at the Mutua Madrid Open. The Greek, who’s seeded ninth this fortnight won 6-4, 6-4 against 26th seed Paula Badosa.

The 31st-seeded Romanian got the better of 14th seed Liudmila Samsonova with the same score as Sakkari’s. Photo Credit: Mutua Madrid Open Twitter

Madrid Open Iga Swiatek Mayar Sherif
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