Fixture: (1) Iga Swiatek vs (14) Beatriz Haddad Maia
Tournament: French Open 2023
Date: June 8, 2023
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor clay
Match timing: Approx. 4.30 pm local time, 10.30 am ET, 2.30 pm GMT, 8 pm IST
Prize money: €49,600,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel, NBC Sports, Peacock TV | Canada - TSN | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Ten
Iga Swiatek vs Beatriz Haddad Maia preview
Following a spectacular 2022 season that saw her lift eight titles, the Pole has been having an underwhelming year by her lofty standards. She did lift the trophy at the WTA 500 events in Stuttgart and Doha. However, Swiatek got bested in the two WTA 1000 finals she reached in Dubai and Madrid.
In Rome, the World No. 1's title defense came to a premature end as she had to retire in the quarterfinals due to a thigh injury.
The injury hasn't so far hampered her progress at Roland Garros. Swiatek has been in cruise control throughout the tournament, winning five matches in a row, and conceding just 15 games.
With her 6-4, 6-2 win over Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals in what was a rematch of the 2022 French Open final, the 22-year-old has now won 12 consecutive matches in Paris.
Beatriz Haddad Maia had a breakout 2022 season, winning titles in Nottingham and Birmingham as well as finishing runner-up at the Canadian Open. She also made significant impact in doubles, where she tasted success at Sydney and Nottingham.
The Brazilian southpaw has picked up this year from where she left off in 2022. Haddad Maia made the last four in Abu Dhabi, besides notching up quarterfinal appearances in Adelaide, Doha, Stuttgart, and Rome.
In doubles, she won the title in Madrid alongside Victoria Azarenka, and reached the final in Indian Wells in partnership with Laura Siegemund.
Haddad Maia's efforts propelled her to a career-high No. 12 in singles and No. 10 in doubles in the world rankings.
The Brazilian's journey in Paris this year has been all about steely grit and determination. For the first time in her career, Haddad Maia has won five main-draw matches in a Grand Slam. And she's had to do it the hard way.
Four of her five matches went the distance. The 14th seed had to work her way back from match point down against 23rd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in the third round.
Haddad Maia had to battle for three hours and 51 minutes to subdue the challenge of Sara Sorribes Tormo in the Round of 16 in what was the 10th-longest match of the Open Era.
In the quarterfinals, she stormed back from a set down to record a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 upset victory over seventh seed Ons Jabeur to become the first Brazilian woman in the Open Era to make the French Open last four.
Iga Swiatek vs Beatriz Haddad Maia head-to-head
Haddad Maia has a 1-0 lead over Swiatek in the head-to-head. The Brazilian edged Swiatek 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in the Round of 16 at Toronto last year.
Iga Swiatek vs Beatriz Haddad Maia odds
(Odds sourced from oddschecker)
Iga Swiatek vs Beatriz Haddad Maia prediction
Haddad Maia will come into this match full of confidence, having prevailed over World No. 1 Iga Swiatek in their previous encounter. However, their last meeting was on hardcourt while their upcoming showdown will be on clay, which is Swiatek's comfort zone.
Additionally, Haddad Maia has already spent 12 hours and 55 minutes on the court in singles. In contrast, Swiatek has breezed through each of her matches, having spent a total of five hours and 32 minutes on the court.
The difference in the energy level could be pivotal for the outcome of this match.
Haddad Maia needs to clean up her game before facing the top seed. Against Jabeur in the quarterfinals, she produced 28 winners to 39 unforced errors. She cannot afford to repeat it against a player of Swiatek's caliber.
The southpaw made 28 net forays against Jabeur, winning 18 of those points. Coming in and finishing the point at the net is a tactic she needs to apply against the Pole if she can keep her pinned to the back of the court.
Haddad Maia needs to step inside the baseline and take the ball on the rise to put Swiatek in a spot of bother. By robbing the Pole of her precious pace, she could surprise the World No. 1.
But it remains to be seen how long she is able to sustain a high level. Iga Swiatek's anticipation, movement and defense on clay are one of the best in the game. Given her pedigree and experience at Roland Garros, she should be able to make it back to the final.
Pick: Iga Swiatek to win in two tight sets.