Swiatek, Raducanu set for Stuttgart showdown

STUTTGART, Germany – World No.1 Iga Swiatek will face reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu for the first time in the quarterfinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Friday. The marquee matchup features the tour’s youngest active major champions against each other in their first meeting at the professional level.

Yes, Swiatek, 20, and Raducanu, 19, both won Slams as their first WTA titles. Swiatek became Poland’s first major champion at the 2020 French Open. Last fall, Raducanu made tennis history by becoming the first qualifier to win a major title. Yes, they were both teenagers when they made their major breakthroughs. And yes, they were both ranked well outside the Top 50 and did not come close to losing a set over their fortnights.

But from Raducanu’s perspective, that’s where the similarities end.

“Iga had been playing tennis full time for years before,” Raducanu told WTA Insider after her second-round win over Tamara Korpatsch. “She was on the ITF Tour, she was on the WTA Tour. I hadn’t played for 18 months, was sitting for my exams, and didn’t really play that many tournaments or trained very much. I was training like three times a week for 10 hours a week last year. So right now it’s about building robustness for sure, playing matches week in and week out.

“You can’t really compare the journeys because we’ve had different pathways. Since she won the Slam she’s done extremely well and remained consistent. I’m not sure when that will happen for me, but I’m sure I’ll get there. “

Here’s what you need to know about Friday’s showdown in Stuttgart:

How they got here

Swiatek booked her spot in her sixth quarterfinal of the season by defeating German qualifier Eva Lys 6-1, 6-1 in her opening match.

Raducanu advanced to her third career quarterfinal by notching her first set of back-to-back wins this season, defeating Storm Sanders and Tamara Korpatsch.

Match Report: Raducanu slides into Stuttgart quarterfinals after Korpatsch win

What’s at stake

Both Swiatek and Raducanu are making their Stuttgart debuts this year.

Playing her first WTA tournament as the new World No.1, Swiatek brings her 20-match winning streak into the match. She is bidding to make her sixth semifinal of the year and first in Stuttgart.

Read: Why Swiatek is looking to evolve her game on clay

Raducanu has a chance of making her Top 10 debut this week in Stuttgart. She would need to win the title to do so. She is looking to make her first semifinal di lei since her title run in Stuttgart. Raducanu is facing a Top 10 player for the first time.

Notable numbers

1: Number of times Swiatek and Raducanu have faced each other across all levels. That came at the junior event at 2018 Wimbledon. Swiatek defeated Raducanu 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. Swiatek went on to win her sole junior singles title.

21: Consecutive matches Swiatek has won; she swept the titles in Doha, Indian Wells and Miami.

26: Consecutive sets Swiatek has won going into Friday’s quarterfinal match.

3: Games lost in the last seven sets Swiatek has played. Since the second set of the Miami Open final against Naomi Osaka, Swiatek has posted four 6-0 sets and three 6-1 sets.

0: Wins over higher-ranked opponents by Raducanu since the US Open. She has faced a higher-ranked opponent just once during that span, losing 6-1, 6-0 to Elena Rybakina in the first round of Sydney.

1: Loss for Swiatek to a player ranked inside the Top 20 in 2022. That loss came in the semifinals of Adelaide, where Swiatek lost to No.1 Ashleigh Barty.

2: Players younger than Swiatek to win 20 or more consecutive matches since 2000. Only Serena Williams (35 matches in 2000) and Venus Williams (21 matches in 2002) were younger.

2008: The last time a teenager made the Stuttgart semifinals. Raducanu is bidding to become the first teenager since Victoria Azarenka.

50: The highest-ranked player Raducanu has defeated since winning the US Open. The win came one week ago, when she defeated No. 50 Tereza Martincova at the Billie Jean King Cup.

12: The highest-ranked player Raducanu has defeated. The win came during her US Open title run, when she defeated Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

18: The lowest-ranked player Swiatek has lost to on clay since she won 2020 Roland Garros. That loss came to Maria Sakkari in the French Open quarterfinals last year.

What they’re saying

Raducanu on Swiatek:

“Iga’s in great form. She’s won all the tournaments recently, she’s No.1 in the world and clay is one of her best surfaces. For me it’s a complete swing tomorrow. I’ve got no expectations or pressure. I’m just going to go out there and see what happens. “

Read: Raducanu explains her connection to Tottenham and her goals during the clay swing

Swiatek on the one-sided scorelines she’s posted recently:

“For sure they’re giving me confidence and I’m pretty happy that I’m consistent and I’m not letting my opponents play their game. But honestly, it’s not like I’m proud of the score. I’m more proud of the whole win and the performance.

“If I would have thoughts [about not wanting to lose games] it would mean I’m really not focused. The best kind of tennis for me is when I don’t even know what the score is. Even when I have a thought like that, I’m like, ‘Oh my god Iga, come back to what’s important.’ Performance is the thing I want to focus on so I don’t even care about the scores. “

Raducanu’s recollection of her 2018 junior Wimbledon match against Swiatek:

“I erased it from my memory [laughs]. “

Swiatek on keeping her focus during her winning streak:

“Right now I’m in a pretty weird position because I’ve never played three matches with scores like that, so I feel like my mind has to be still ready for everything. I’ve never had something like that in tennis at that level. This is a new experience again, something I have to deal with. It’s not like you can stop working right now. I feel like it’s even more work to do. “

Stuttgart: Swiatek extends winning streak to 20 over Lys

2022 Stuttgart

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