Swiatek Overcomes Inspired Stephens Challenge To Advance In Dubai

Swiatek Overcomes Inspired Stephens Challenge To Advance In Dubai

by Zachary Wimer

Iga Swiatek started off her 2024 Dubai Championships campaign with a strong win over Sloane Stephens in straight sets.

The Polish player last played last week at the Qatar Open and did pretty well by making the final and then outlasting Elena Rybakina in the final. Playing this week is a unique challenge because it's on short rest.

It didn't really bother her last year because she made the Dubai final last year and started this year really well. Stephens hasn't played that great recently, but she's generally shown a good effort against Swiatek in the past.

This match showed that she could challenge her as well because the Polish number one didn't cruise in this one. She won comfortably and didn't face too many issues, but she didn't cruise either.

The opening set lasted almost 50 minutes, and Stephens gave Swiatek a lot of problems. She took a 2-1 lead but gave it back. She then took a 3-2 lead and lost it. And then a 4-3 lead and also lost it.

In total, Stephens was up a break three times but couldn't confirm it either time. Eventually, Swiatek overpowered her, finishing the first set on a high note, winning it 6-4.

The second set wasn't that much easier for Swiatek, who didn't have trouble creating break point chances but struggled to convert them immediately.

In the first six games of the second set, the Pole wasted seven break points, but Stephens wasted a couple as well. Swiatek would waste a few more before arriving at the tenth break point of the second set.

It was 5-4 for her, so it was actually a match point, too, and this time around, she converted it to finish off the match and win it 6-4, 6-4. It was a great set and a struggle, but she's through to the next round.


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