World number 15 Iga Swiatek of Poland will face up to the American challenge of the 23rd-ranked Madison Keys in the second round of the 2021 Italian Open on Wednesday, May 12. Get the live streaming options of this Iga Swiatek v Madison Keys match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Iga Swiatek v Madison Keys Head to Head
This will be the first time ever that Swiatek and Keys will be facing off in a competitive encounter at the highest level.
Swiatek Benefits from Riske Withdrawal
The last time Swiatek had played Alison Riske in a competitive match she had barely given her opponent a chance. This time around, things looked to have gotten far more interesting when Riske made an untimely retirement from their encounter to award Swiatek the match.
It was as early as in the third game of the first set that Swiatek lost her serve and fell a break down. A couple of games later, she lost her serve yet again to allow Riske to take an unlikely 4-1 lead and with a chance to shockingly win a set off the French Open champion.
Swiatek isn’t a Grand Slam winner for nothing though and she came back with back to back breaks before holding on to her serve after being a break-point down. And with Riske serving to stay in the set, Swiatek had a chance to win the set which she bungled only for her American opponent to retire from the match soon after.
Earlier this season, Swiatek had made it as far as the third round in Madrid before falling to Ash Barty. Can she now get past the former French Open semifinalist here?
Struggling Keys Slays Sloane
They had met as recently as the Charleston Open last month and Keys had found it rather difficult to get going, eventually losing to her close friend and former US Open winner Sloane Stephens. This time around, however, it turned out to be a better result for Keys.
She overcome American countrywoman Stephens in three sets, overturning the loss of the first to claim a hard-fought win over her friend.
Earlier scheduled to play Karolina Muchova, Keys was re-drawn against Stephens who overturned a 0-3 deficit in the first set to clinch it 6-4 following a string of breaks.
Keys took control of the second set with an early break, then dropped serve before breaking twice in succession to level the match. An early break in the decider and a succession of holds took Stephens to 3-2 ahead but this was followed by three successive breaks of serves.
A Keys hold after warding off three break-points made it 5-4 in her favour and while she missed out on two break-points on her opponent’s serve, she broke one final time at 5-6 in the final set to claim the second round berth.
This was Keys’s first win after four successive defeats and that should help stall her sagging momentum. Can it help her overcome Swiatek?
Swiatek v Keys Prediction and Tip
Swiatek is a red-hot favourite here with an offer of 1/4 for her win as compared to Keys starting out at 3/1. Will the match turn out to be this one-sided though? Seems doubtful.