Swiatek vs Haddad Maia predictions: Pole to ease into another Paris final
Women’s world number one Iga Swiatek is bidding to win the French Open for a third time in the last four seasons and the Polish phenomenon should tee-up another title decider in Paris with an authoritative semi-final victory over Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Many believe the 22-year-old can dominate the clay-court Major much like 14-time champion Rafael Nadal has done in the men’s event and while it may be too early to strike those comparisons, Swiatek is certainly heading in the right direction.
The defending champion at Roland Garros has barely broken sweat on her way to the semi-final, winning all four of her completed matches in straight sets while her fourth-round opponent Lesia Tsurenko retired hurt when trailing 5-1 in the opener.
Haddad Maia, on the other hand, has had to work tirelessly for her place in her first Grand Slam semi-final.
The Brazilian has won her last four matches in a deciding set, coming from behind to record dramatic wins in her last three encounters with Ekaterina Alexandrova, Sara Sorribes Tormo and Ons Jabeur.
Swiatek has proven to be almost untouchable on her beloved slower surface and the Polish star has lost only one of her 17 completed matches on clay this season.
Having been crowned champion in 2020 and 2022, the Warsaw woman has won 26 of her 28 career matches at the French Open.
The 22-year-old has yet to drop a set in Paris, meaning she has won 2-0 in 13 of her 17 completed matches on clay this season.
In her four completed matches in Paris, she has dropped a total of just 14 games and has won four of the eight sets she has contested 6-0.
While Swiatek has spent only five and a half hours on court, opponent Haddad Maia has endured almost 13 hours playing time on the back of four three-set contests.
The Brazilian has lost the opening set in each of the last three rounds before pulling off a dramatic fightbacks.
The current world number 14 did win the only previous meeting between the pair, having prevailed 6-4 3-6 7-5 on a hard court in Toronto in August, but Swiatek is a different beast on clay.
Swiatek was provided her toughest test yet by Coco Gauff in her quarter-final encounter, but the Pole still found a way to run out a commanding 6-4 6-2 winner.
Swiatek had beaten Gauff in the final of the French Open last year and, in truth, this semi-final showdown with Haddad Maia should not prove to be any tougher for her.
The Brazilian is evidently capable but fatigue must be of an obvious concern given how long she has spent playing in Paris, compared to her world number one opponent.
The 27-year-old is also not as mobile as other top players, something that Swiatek can exploit, while it is the biggest match of her career so evidently comes with its pressure.
Swiatek’s four completed matches in Paris have lasted 16, 16, 12 and 18 games and there is every hope the Pole can wrap this semi-final encounter up quickly.