Top seeds Iga Swiatek and Carlos Alcaraz both advanced out of their respective quarterfinals Wednesday at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Swiatek dismissed Petra Martic, 6-0, 6-3, capitalizing on all four break points she created. The three-time major champion, who won the first seven games before the Croatian got on the board, has now won eight straight matches to open this year’s European clay-court season.
A year ago, the 21-year-old missed competing at the Caja Magica, but picked up trophies at Stuttgart, Rome and Roland Garros in separating herself from the pack. Swiatek is seeking her biggest title of 2023, following 500-level triumphs in Doha and Stuttgart.
“Just getting the experience of playing here and kind of it was easier and easier every match to stay disciplined sometimes and make the right decisions. Because at the beginning, I felt like I had to take care of so many stuff that was a little bit different than in Stuttgart, for example,” Swiatek told press about adapting to the venue’s conditions.
“But right now it became more natural, and I can use my intuition a little bit more. That’s what I was looking for.”As for Alcaraz, he moved within two victories of successfully completing the Barcelona-Madrid double for the second year running. In his final match as a teenager, Alcaraz defeated Karen Khachanov, 6-4, 7-5, claiming the final five games of the encounter to avoid going into a decider. He is now 3-0 against the world No. 12.
Regarding his upcoming birthday Friday and on-court ambitions heading into his 20s, Alcaraz told press, “My dream on tennis right now is to become one of the best tennis players in history. I know that this is a big dream, probably is too big (smiling). But in this world, you have to dream big and you have to think big, as well.
“I want to be part of the best tennis players in history and I will work for it.”
The 2022 US Open champion can move within five points of Novak Djokovic for world No. 1 heading into Rome if he returns to the winner’s circle on Sunday. The two competitors have already swapped positions atop the ATP rankings three times this season. Djokovic withdrew from Madrid for reasons unspecified, though his right elbow had showed signs of concern leading up to the decision.
Alcaraz has now won 19 consecutive matches contested in his home country.