Date: 25 September 2021
Tournament: J&T Banka Ostrava Open 2021
Venue: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Iga Swiatek vs Maria Sakkari preview
Top seed Iga Swiatek will take on fourth seed Maria Sakkari in a blockbuster semifinal clash at the 2021 Ostrava Open on Saturday.
Swiatek has been one of the most consistent performers on the WTA tour this year; she is the only player to have made the second week at all four Grand Slams. Additionally, she also made her first Grand Slam final in doubles at the 2021 French Open.
Having won titles in Rome and Adelaide, the Pole is on the hunt for her third title of the season.
Swiatek overcame Elena Rybakina in straight sets in the previous round, but it was not smooth sailing for the Pole. She was broken while serving for the match and needed three match points to ultimately book her spot in the semifinal.
Maria Sakkari, meanwhile, is having the best season of her career. She made her maiden Grand Slam semifinal at the 2021 French Open and could've gone all the way to the final had she managed to convert a match point against Barbora Krejcikova. She then reached her second Grand Slam semifinal at the 2021 US Open.
The Greek, currently placed at a career-high ranking of 12, booked a spot in her sixth semifinal of the season in Ostrava by defeating Tereza Martincova 7-5 6-3.
Iga Swiatek vs Maria Sakkari head-to-head
Maria Sakkari leads Iga Swiatek 1-0 in their head-to-head. They faced each other at the French Open earlier this year, with the Greek ending Swiatek's title defense with a 6-4 6-4 win.
Iga Swiatek vs Maria Sakkari prediction
Iga Swiatek and Maria Sakkari are both in red-hot form, so a high quality contest is on the cards. Both players like to play first-strike tennis and their serves equip them to do just that.
Swiatek will have revenge on her mind having seen her Roland Garros title defense come to an end at the hands of Sakkari earlier this year.
Without the pressure of being the defending champion, the Pole might just be able play some of her finest tennis. Sakkari has a tendency to fall apart mentally in big matches under pressure, and if that happens on Saturday, Swiatek will only be too happy to capitalize.
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Prediction: Iga Swiatek to win in three sets.