Iga Swiatek stunned Varvara Gracheva in the second round of the WTA China Open in Beijing, winning the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.
The second seed proved why she is a four-time Grand Slam champion by controlling the match from start to finish and refusing to give the World No. 47 the chance for a surprise victory.
Prior to this match, Swiatek pulled off a similar feat against Sara Sorribes Tomo in the first round with a 6-4, 6-3 victory, while Gracheva came back after dropping a set against Anastasia Potapova to set up her first-ever meeting with the former World No. 1.
Swiatek shuts down haters by dominating match
Gracheva had a positive start to the match, building up a 40-0 lead in her first service game and holding serve at 40-15. However, she was not able to maintain her serve for long against an on-form Swiatek. The Polish player earned three break points in Gracheva’s next service game and was able to convert the second one with a quality point causing the French player to hit the ball into the net.
Despite getting broken again, Gracheva fought back to keep herself in the set but was still down by a break and missing a lot of first serves. Ultimately, she was unable to equalize and Swiatek soon found herself serving for the set.
In this game, Gracheva played with great depth to take it to a deuce but Swiatek got the advantage before acing her opponent to win the opener in 41 minutes.
Gracheva’s first service game in the second set went to a deuce and the 23-year-old lost two advantages before an unforced error gave Swiatek break point, which she secured with a fantastic forehand.
There was then a rain delay which led to the players leaving the court. When they returned, Swiatek was in the zone and took complete dominance over the match.
Swiatek achieved the double break straight away while Gracheva became increasingly frustrated. In the final game of the match, the latter was fighting to hold her serve while trailing 5-1, but Swiatek built up two match points and successfully converted one of them to a second-round victory at the WTA 1000 tournament.
This came after a disappointing run for the World No. 2 at the Pan Pacific Open last week which led to several fans criticizing her. However, this match in Beijing was certainly a strong case for silencing those expressing doubts.
Swiatek d. Gracheva 6-4 6-1 in Beijing
Since the start of the year, Iga has been trying to shut out the noise
People have shoved their expectations & pressure down her throat constantly
Well maybe now she can get back to playing with freedom
Tennis without the baggage.
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) October 3, 2023