World No 17 Ekaterina Alexandrova was straight honest when asked about facing Iga Swiatek, underlining it is "the most difficult" task in tennis. Alexandrova, 28, is set to meet world No 1 Swiatek in the Madrid Open round-of-16.
When Alexandrova and Swiatek meet, it will be their first meeting. Swiatek is widely considered the best player in the women's game and Alexandrova knows it will require an outstanding performance from her part if she wants to stand a chance against the Pole.
“It’s going to be super difficult. I think it cannot be anymore difficult than it is," Alexandrova said.
Ekaterina Alexandrova’s reaction to hearing she plays Iga Swiatek next:
“It’s going to be super difficult.
I think it cannot be anymore difficult than it is…”
Always going to have a soft spot for Drova since watching her hug Bianca Andreescu after her injury.
Underrated ❤️ pic.twitter.com/463y8YFM4q — The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) April 30, 2023
Alexandrova beat Qinwen Zheng to set up a Swiatek match
On Sunday, Alexandrova recovered from a set down to beat Zheng 5-7 6-4 6-2.
In the first set, Alexandrova had a 5-4 lead and a chance to serve out for the opener. Alexandrova then suffered a collapse as Zheng clinched back-to-back breaks in the 10th and 12th games to overturn the deficit and steal the first set from the Russian.
After losing the first set in a devastating way, Alexandrova broke Zheng in the third game of the second set. Alexandrova then held on to her service for the remainder of the second set to force a decider. In the third set, Zheng had a 2-1 lead before Alexandrova won the next five games to complete a big comeback win.
Meanwhile, Swiatek saw off Bernarda Pera 6-3 6-2. After the match, Swiatek refused to say it was quite easy to beat Pera. "Obviously, I wouldn't say it was easy. Every match is tricky here. So, I'm happy that I'm getting my rhythm.
Playing against a lefty is never easy. But I'm pretty happy that I was disciplined and focused," Swiatek said after the win. Going into the Swiatek and Alexandrova match, the Pole is definitely the favorite. It remains to be seen if Alexandrova can pull off an upset win over Swiatek.