On a stormy day at the Western & Southern Open, tennis champions Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek demonstrated their skill and resilience to secure spots in the quarterfinals. Despite facing adverse weather conditions and formidable opponents, Alcaraz and Swiatek powered through to continue their impressive tournament runs.
Alcaraz, the defending U.S. Open champion and current Wimbledon titlist from Spain, showcased his determination and mental fortitude in a grueling match against Tommy Paul. The encounter lasted a staggering 3 hours and 9 minutes, including two rain delays totaling 2 hours and 35 minutes. Despite losing three match points in the second set, Alcaraz rallied back to defeat Paul 7-6 (6), 6-7 (0), 6-3.
Reflecting on the challenges of playing amidst frequent interruptions, Alcaraz remarked, “You’ve got to stay focused. It’s not easy to play and stop and play and stop. You can’t do anything but be ready to play.”
In another noteworthy match, Novak Djokovic asserted his dominance with a swift 6-3, 6-2 victory over Gael Monfils, extending his undefeated record against the French player to 19-0. Djokovic, the second seed in the tournament, will face ninth-seeded American Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Iga Swiatek had to overcome challenging playing conditions due to a strong wind. With great resilience and adaptability, Swiatek achieved a remarkable comeback victory against Zheng Quiwen of China. After dropping the first set, Swiatek adjusted her game, ultimately prevailing with a scoreline of 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. She will now face off against 10th-seeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.
Marketa Vondrousova secured her place in the next round with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over American Sloane Stephens, while unseeded player Hubert Hurkacz from Poland produced a stunning upset by eliminating fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece with a 6-3, 6-4 win.
The day also witnessed two significant upsets orchestrated by unseeded Czech players. Marie Bouzkova delivered a stunning defeat to third-seeded Jessica Pegula with a 6-4, 6-0 victory, while Karolina Muchova continued her impressive run by eliminating eighth-seeded Maria Sakkari in a hard-fought match that lasted three sets: 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
Elena Rybakina, the fourth-seeded player from Kazakhstan, advanced when her opponent retired due to health reasons, as did Tunisian fifth-seed Ons Jabeur.
Despite their triumphs on the court, both Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek addressed the issue of online negativity and criticism they receive. Swiatek spoke out against the hate she and her team face, urging people to be more thoughtful when commenting on the internet.
The quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open promise to be intriguing matchups as these exceptional athletes continue their journey towards triumph.