Swiatek vs Sabalenka – Madrid WTA Final Preview

by Simon Zeitler
Iga Swiatek WTA

So here it is, the women’s final in Madrid 2024 is all set and in line with the rivalries we expected, it is the 2023 final re-match: Iga Swiatek against Aryna Sabalenka. The World No. 1 and 2 will fight for the Masters title on Saturday again and we want to have a look into the odds and expectations on this one. 

How did they get here?

So, it isn’t a surprise that we see these two players here – Iga being the best clay player for years and Aryna having a simply stunning start to her season, which was halted by personal tragedy in the U.S. But the way into the final was a bit different for each player.

While Swiatek had a quite smooth run and only lost one set to Haddad Maia, in part thanks to the surprise by some other players like Sorribes Tormo, Sabalenka had to dig a lot deeper. Apart from her victory against Mirra Andreeva, the Belarusian No. 1 had to go the distance against every other opponent. Does that mean she played bad tennis? Not necessarily, since she had to face Rybakina, Collins and the inspired young American Robin Montogomery. But at least physically, Iga Swiatek seems like she had a lot less to do on court.

Another concern for Sabalenka could be her number of unforced errors this week. She makes a living of taking risks and hitting hard, but especially in the earlier rounds, she overpowered few of these shots and gave her opponents chances. On the other hand, Iga seemed incredibly composed, and you could see her spin-friendly game give players a hard time, with the slower courts this week helping of course.

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Head-to-Head – Swiatek v Sabalenka

The statistics speak a relatively clear language, Iga leads the H2H 6-3 in total, with a 3-1 score on clay. She is known to love the clay courts and her game fits both the surface and the opponent. But if we look back to the Madrid and Stuttgart finals of last year, Aryna beat her twice in a row on that very surface. The head-to-head might give a little edge to the World No. 1, it is not like Sabalenka isn’t able to challenge her at all.

So, what do we learn from the stats?

However, given that the semifinal against Rybakina was very close and determined by mental struggles and little difference, plus Iga’s incredible form, I would give the edge to her in this one. Actually, I think that Rybakina’s game-style would have been of greater concern to the Pole, who so far has been smooth sailing through the tournament. She might be vulnerable when facing extremely hard-hitting players, but the error margin of Sabalenka this week has been a bit higher than usual, and points don’t come back easy in this final.

Add the physical strain of numerous three-set matches for Sabalenka and it becomes a lot harder for her to succeed here.

My prediction is a three-set victory for Swiatek, who extends her lead at the WTA rankings and will travel to Paris as the clear-cut favorite. The only chance for Aryna here in my eyes would be a perfect start to the match and getting Iga unrattled. Let’s not forget that Swiatek is only 22 years old and whilst she has an incredible composure, this could be a way for her to lose the match.

A 2-1 Set Betting wager on Swiatek gives an odds of

In any case, something we love to see, a rivalry growing at the top of our beloved sport in the women’s game. Add the ever-improving Rybakina and we should be set for an interesting rest of the clay season here easily! 

What’s your guess? Do you agree with us or do you think that Sabalenka will defend her title?

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