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Iga Swiatek holds off Elise Mertens, reaches Stuttgart quarter-finals

News Agencies | Updated on: 19 April 2024, 12:30 IST
Iga Swiatek

Stuttgart: The World No.1 Iga Swiatek continued her victorious clay-court camping as she defeated Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the Tennis Grand Prix.

Swiatek needed just one hour and 33 minutes to hold off 30th-ranked Mertens and claim a spot in the Stuttgart quarter-finals.

Swiatek will next face 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the quarter-finals.

"I'm really happy with the way I played. First match on clay, so it's always tricky. Elise was really good. Sometimes, I had to be patient and really work for the points. So I'm happy with the way I handled it," Swiatek told the press as quoted by WTA.

"That's one of the things you have to switch from hard court, you have to be ready for longer rallies and for players to be able to get back more. And also, I can use that. I can also get back more balls. So it works both ways, but you have to switch that mindset to be more patient," he added.

Swiatek's powerful groundstrokes drove her to a commanding 5-1 lead in the opening set, and she was determined to keep her Stuttgart winning streak alive.

Mertens, on the other hand, improved her returns as the set proceeded and rallied to win 5-3. Swiatek fell behind 0-30 in her next service game, giving Mertens hope of going back on serve, but the top seed blasted her way to four straight games and sealed the one-set victory after a Mertens backhand went long.

Following an early exchange of breaks in the second set, Mertens' ill-timed double fault gave Swiatek a break, putting the Pole ahead 4-3. At 5-4, Mertens' remarkable defence enabled her to survive Swiatek's first three match opportunities, but the World No.1 would not be denied, smashing a forehand winner to seal her fourth chance and advance to the quarter-finals.


First published: 19 April 2024, 12:30 IST