Australian Open 2022: Iga Swiatek vs Kaia Kanepi preview, head-to-head & prediction

Iga Swiatek (L) & Kaia Kanepi at 2022 Australian Open
Iga Swiatek (L) & Kaia Kanepi at 2022 Australian Open

Match details

Fixture: (7) Iga Swiatek vs Kaia Kanepi

Date: 26 January 2022.

Tournament: Australian Open 2022.

Round: Quarterfinals

Venue: Melbourne, Australia.

Category: Grand Slam.

Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt.

Prize money: $75,000,000.

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Six, Sony Liv.

Iga Swiatek vs Kaia Kanepi preview

Seventh seed Iga Swiatek will set her sights on a maiden Australian Open semi-final berth. She squares off against Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi on Wednesday. Interestingly, it will be a battle between the oldest and the youngest players remaining in the women's singles draw.

The 20-year-old Pole continues her fantastic start to the year. After a semi-final finish in Adelaide, she has now broken new ground at the Australian Open by reaching her maiden quarterfinal in Melbourne.

Swiatek: “Two years ago I felt like on hard court I'm not able to play my game. I was always adjusting to what my opponents were doing. Right now is different b/c I feel like I really developed and I can play more on hard court and I can be more free. I'm pretty proud of that."

Swiatek was subjected to a stern test by former Roland Garros quarterfinalist Sorana Cirstea after what has so far been a breezy week for the Pole at this Slam. The Romanian giant-killer, who has accounted for 10th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and 20th seed Petra Kvitova, gave Swiatek a scare by snatching the first set.

The 2020 French Open champion was, however, able to remain steady through the multiple momentum shifts to come through 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

Kaia Kanepi in action at 2022 Australian Open
Kaia Kanepi in action at 2022 Australian Open

Swiatek's next opponent, Kaia Kanepi, meanwhile, added a new feather to her cap on Monday at the age of 36. With her upset of World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round, the Estonian has now completed the full set of Grand Slam quarterfinals.

Kanepi has made it to the last eight of all other Slams twice. However, an Australian Open quarterfinal berth continued to evade her until this year.

She had to achieve it the hard way, though. As the World No. 115, the Estonian was the underdog against second-seeded Sabalenka.

What ensued was a thriller with neither player able to capitalize on their advantage. Kanepi rode through the ebbs and flows, calming herself down after losing four match point opportunities to finally send the Belarusian packing with a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(7) win.

Kanepi: The #AusOpen was the only QF I was missing. At my age, I didn’t actually believe I will do it. I’m really happy."…

Iga Swiatek vs Kaia Kanepi head-to-head

Swiatek and Kanepi have never squared off on the tour before, so the head-to-head is currently tied at 0-0.

Iga Swiatek vs Kaia Kanepi prediction

Iga Swiatek celebrates a point during her fourth-round match at 2022 Australian Open
Iga Swiatek celebrates a point during her fourth-round match at 2022 Australian Open

The match will witness some heavy hitting from both ends of the court.

Kaia Kanepi will look to serve out wide and finish with a thumping forehand winner in the open court. However, consistently striking winners past a player of Swiatek's caliber won't be easy.

The Pole's speed, athleticism and defense will make things difficult for the Estonian.

The World No. 115's serve, too, is an area of concern. She landed only 49% of her first serves in her match against Sabalenka, with the second serves being duly punished by the Belarusian.

Swiatek, too, will show no mercy once Kanepi's first serve percentage dips. The World No. 9 will look to move in and attack her opponent relentlessly.

Kanepi's mental strength will also be tested by the Pole. The 36-year-old struggled to close out her fourth-round win, despite initially getting four match points. It took Sabalenka's wild unforced errors to ease things for her.

Swaatek won't be able to provide her with the same assistance. Missingthe first serve could put the seventh seed in a spot of bother but having won a Slam in the past, the youngster knows when to raise her level.

Prediction: Iga Swiatek to win in three sets.

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Edited by shilpa17.ram
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