A new era for women’s tennis?

10 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
A new era for women’s tennis?

eBusiness Weekly

Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka played out a Madrid masterpiece at the weekend leaving fans and experts raving about the strength of the women’s game

Iga Swiatek’s victory against Aryna Sabalenka in the Madrid Open final will go down as arguably one of the greatest women’s matches of the Open Era.

On the brink of defeat, Swiatek saved three championship points to win the title with an incredible three-set victory over defending champion Sabalenka in a matchup of the top two players in the world.

Swiatek admitted neither player deserved to lose while Sabalenka delivered what was arguably the finest performance of her career. Yet, when the final point was played, it was world No 1 Swiatek who held the winner’s trophy aloft on the confetti-drenched court.

“Who’s gonna say now that women’s tennis is boring?” Swiatek said in her on-court interview with Spanish TV.

During her press conference, the Polish star elaborated on her comment, explaining that there was a lot fans could take from the women’s game.

“Well, I think, obviously if we would have to play against a man we would lose. It’s not about that. It’s about how two players match against each other. So I think we can play great matches,” the 22-year-old said.

“I’m number one, but I’m seeing these girls in the top 10, we can play such intense battles. I think it’s all about what emotions it brings in people, and I think it’s not that you should compare the level of tennis, but you should compare what it gives you when you watch it. I think people can take a lot from watching women’s tennis, and it can be interesting and emotional.”

Speaking to Sky Sports Tennis, Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong was in awe at what she had witnessed after the final, saying: “The quality they were able to display for over three hours was phenomenal. That was high-quality stuff.

“It was a gutsy performance from both players.

“That was one of the best matches I’ve ever witnessed courtside. High-quality, high-drama

“It was a match which was tough to call, even before they went on the court. They’ve got a fierce rivalry and prior to the match we wondered how much Sabalenka had in the tank because pretty much every match she played in here went the distance apart from one.

“Iga showed such good fighting spirit, such desire, they were both just desperate for it. They left everything out there, which is what you want to see.”

Tournament director Feliciano Lopez was staggered by the quality shown on court by Swiatek and Sabalenka, calling it an ‘amazing match’.

The Spaniard said: “Not only the longest match in the history of the tournament, but the best match as well. It was a hell of a match with everything, with drama, great tennis and also the biggest rivalry we can have in tennis for the next few years.

“It was great to be in the front row and to witness such a great match.

“Sabalenka might have been the favourite but Swiatek was hanging in there, she waited for the opportunity and I think she deserved it because she was fighting until the end.”

Former player Colin Fleming felt Swiatek was ‘brave’ in saving three championship points before taking her opportunity.

“Swiatek was hitting the ball within inches of the baseline but they were both coming up with the goods in pressure situations,” he said. “We loved the emotion from Swiatek. She plays as the poker face by not giving anything anyway.”

As the road to Roland Garros, the year’s second Grand Slam, continues on Swiatek’s beloved clay, the world No 1 next leads the field at this week’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

The four-time Grand Slam champion is already looking ahead to Rome with an eye on capturing her third title.

“I feel like after such a match, I deserve a two-month vacation,” Swiatek told the official WTA website, “but I can’t have that.

“So I’ll trade it for, like, six tiramisus or something.” — skysports

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