Iga Swiatek recovered from a bad start to beat Victoria Azarenka in straight sets to advance to the quarter finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, where he will face Bianca Andreescu. For the defending champion, it was the 25th consecutive victory on an open streak that started in Indian Wells.
“I didn’t start well, and everybody could see that”, she explained after the 6-4 6-1 win: “I’m really happy with the way I reacted and how I improved in the first set. Also, how different second set looked to the first one because I could really reset and really change the way I played. That’s the most positive thing for me”.
The key to turn things around for the Pole was the change in her strategy, something she is very pleased with: “I didn’t want to take that much risk because I didn’t feel like I was controlling the ball well. I needed to kind of play little bit more to the middle and maybe just wait for her, how she’s going to react to some longer rallies”.
Even though she was not particularly happy with her tennis -and even went back to hit the practice court after the match-, she is satisfied with the way she reacted mentally and tactically to the bad start, something she has been working on in the past times: “I tend to focus on the things that I did wrong, which is not really constructive. I got better at analysing my opponent’s game. I still feel I need to improve at that, to be more efficient on court sometimes. This season for sure it improved. I had some matches where I tactically played really good”.
From a veteran on tour, to a fellow youngster; the next opponent of the world number one is Bianca Andreescu. In a first ever match up on the professional tour, the two slam champions will most likely bring out their freshness and variety in order to try and advance to the semi-finals.
“It’s pretty hard to expect something, especially after such a tricky match as today’s one,” she admitted: “I know Bianca can play a really solid game. I’m pretty happy that she’s back because she has such a nice game. It’s, like, more variety for women’s tennis. For sure it’s going to be interesting. I already played against her in juniors on clay, and it was super tight, super tight match”.
The memory from that match, though it is from the junior years, it is still quite close to her heart, as it signed an important moment in her career: “I remember it was Junior Fed Cup. It was kind of a breakthrough match for me because after that we beat Canada, we played against Russia and States. It was the first match I actually felt that I can do it and I can win with anybody, because she was also playing really solid game at that time. I remember I just was really proud of myself.”