From Struggles To Dominance: Swiatek Overcomes Tricky Grass Opener In Bad Homburg

From Struggles To Dominance: Swiatek Overcomes Tricky Grass Opener In Bad Homburg

by Zachary Wimer

Iga Swiatek defeated Tatjana Maria in her first grass-court match of the season at the 2023 Bad Homburg Open.

The young Pole isn't the best grass-court player, and she knows about it. After her Roland Garros success, Swiatek took some time off, and didn't participate in any of the initial WTA events, signing up for the last warm-up event possible, the 2023 Bad Homburg Open.

The draw was quite cruel for both players that faced off in the first round in their first-ever H2H meeting on the WTA Tour. It was only the first match of the season on the surface for Swiatek, on the other hand, Maria is a grass-court specialist, reaching the Wimbledon semifinals last year.

Before traveling to Germany, Maria took part in a lower-tier WTA event in Italy and made it all the way to the final. But if she wanted to make the same run also in front of the home fans, she had to overcome the World No. 1.

Swiatek wasn't afraid of her opponent's grass-court qualities, breaking in the first game of the match and having a chance to add another one. However, the 22-year-old couldn't use her chances and it was Maria's turn to prove herself.

The German broke back and in the twelfth game of the set, when it already appeared that a tie-break will be played, Maria broke her opponent's serve again, surprisingly winning the first set 7-5.

But Swiatek wasn't ready to go down without a fight, and she showed that in the second set. After breaking her opponent's serve twice, and not allowing any break points, the Pole won it 6-2 to force a decider.

The third set was already a typical one-woman show by the Pole. She had three break points, used all three, and didn't face any on her serve. Thanks to that, she delivered the first bagel of this grass-court season, beating Maria 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.

In the second round of the 2023 Bad Homburg Open, the top seed will play against another tricky player, this time left-handed qualifier Jil Teichmann from Switzerland.


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