Fixture: (14) Iga Swiatek vs Alison Riske
Date: 29 April 2021
Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: WTA 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,549,105
Match timing: Approx. 3 pm local time, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Iga Swiatek vs Alison Riske preview
14th seed and reigning Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek will open her 2021 Mutua Madrid Open campaign with a first-round encounter against Alison Riske.
Playing in her first claycourt tournament of the season, Swiatek has been handed a relatively straightforward couple of rounds first up. The youngster will be keen to use them as testing ground for her form ahead of the rest of the season.
Alison Riske, meanwhile, had her breakthrough season back in 2019. Not only did the American win a second career title that year, she also made two additional finals, reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals, and broke into the top 20 for the first time.
That said, Riske has failed to keep the momentum going since then. Injuries and a loss of form saw her go through the entire 2020 season without a single quarterfinal appearance.
Things haven't looked too promising for Riske in the new season either, and she will need to come up with some answers here.
Iga Siwatek vs Alison Riske head-to-head
This is set be the first career meeting between Iga Swiatek and Alison Riske, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Iga Swiatek vs Alison Riske prediction
Iga Swiatek enters this contest as a firm favorite, given her status as a top 20 player as well as her recent results. The Pole has already notched up a title in Adelaide this year, and she has a power-packed game that could prove too strong for an out-of-form opponent.
For Alison Riske, the key will lie in her ability to get her groundstrokes going right at the start. When playing at the best, the American has a solid all-round game that can give her opponents a lot to think about.
Swiatek will also need to be prepared to handle the unusually flat balls coming at her from Riske's end. The American is known to play really fast; she could cause a few issues by taking time away from the Pole, who can give away a few errors when made to rush.
That said, Riske has failed to inspire much confidence in the lead-up to the tournament. Moreover, clay isn't the best suited surface for Riske's game, and it will require a special effort from her end to force an upset here.
Prediction: Iga Swiatek to win in two tight sets.