Ashleigh Barty (L) & Iga Swiatek
Fixture: (1) Ashleigh Barty vs (5) Iga Swiatek.
Date: 8 January 2021.
Tournament: Adelaide International 2022.
Venue: Adelaide, Australia.
Category: WTA 500.
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt.
Match timing: Not before 7 pm local time, 8 am GMT, 1.30 pm IST.
Prize money: $703,580.
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | UK – Amazon Prime Video.
Ashleigh Barty vs Iga Swiatek preview
After returning from the brink against Coco Gauff, Barty put up a serving masterclass against sixth seed Sofia Kenin on Friday to move into the semifinals. The Wimbledon champion fired a career-high 17 aces on her way to a 6-3, 6-4 win against the American.
The commanding win against the 2020 Australian Open champion would have bolstered Barty’s confidence ahead of what could be a tricky semifinal contest.
Iga Swiatek in action at 2022 Adelaide International 1.
Meanwhile, defending champion Iga Swiatek has been on song this week in Adelaide. She dropped only a combined nine games in her first couple of matches against Daria Saville and Leylah Fernandez.
The Pole faced a stern test in the quarterfinals against two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka. Despite conceding a set, the 20-year-old managed to steady the ship and sail away to a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 win.
The fighting win would have prepared her well ahead of her semi-final meeting with Barty.
Ashleigh Barty vs Iga Swiatek head-to-head
Ashleigh Barty leads Iga Swiatek 1-0 in the head-to-head, having won their solitary encounter 7-5, 6-4 at Madrid last year.
Ashleigh Barty vs Iga Swiatek prediction
Ashleigh Barty in action at 2022 Adelaide International 1
Despite not being in action since the US Open in September, Ashleigh Barty’s rust lasted for just one and a half sets against Coco Gauff. After climbing her way back from a set and a break down, the World No. 1 hasn’t looked back since.
The kind of form that she showed in her demolition of Sofia Kenin was scary to say the least. Apart from 17 aces, the Aussie won 97% of her first serve points. She also put up deadly return numbers, winning 41% of total return points.
With Barty looking ominous, anything short of impeccable form would not suffice for any of her opponents.
Iga Swiatek, meanwhile, has been doing very well herself this week. The Pole has spruced up her backhand in the off-season, with which she has been winning a lot of points. With a 8-0 winning streak in Adelaide, she feels at home in these conditions.
However, Swiatek needs to serve better than what she did against Azarenka if she wants to have any chance against Barty. The 20-year-old landed just 62% first serves and struck four aces, both of which she is capable of improving.
If she can manage to polish her serving numbers and keep attacking consistently on the returns, she could put the Aussie in a spot of bother. Ultimately Barty’s serving prowess and variety should be enough to clinch the win.
Prediction: Ashleigh Barty to win in two tight sets.