Fixture: (1) Iga Swiatek vs (LL) Julia Grabher.

Date: April 28, 2023.

Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2023.

Round: Second Round (Round of 64).

Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain.

Category: WTA 1000.

Surface: Outdoor clay.

Prize money: €7,652,174.

Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | UK – Amazon Prime Video.

Iga Swiatek vs Julia Grabher preview

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek will take on lucky loser Julia Grabher in the second round of the 2023 Madrid Open on Friday.

After a fourth-round exit from the Australian Open, Swiatek claimed her first title of the season at the Qatar Open. She made it to the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships the following week but lost to Barbora Krejcikova.

Swiatek’s title defense at the BNP Paribas Open concluded in the semifinals. She was unable to defend her title at the Miami Open due to an injury. The 21-year old returned to action in Stuttgart for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, where she was the defending champion.

Swiatek defeated Qinwen Zheng, Karolina Pliskova, Ons Jabeur and Aryna Sabalenka to win back-to-back titles in Stuttgart. As one of the seeded players in Madrid, she received a first-round bye.

Grabher lost in the final round of qualifying in Madrid, but got a second lease of life as a lucky loser. She faced Viktoriya Tomova in the first round. The Austrian dropped just one game en route to capturing the opening set.

Grabher was off to a fast start in the second set as she raced to a 4-1 lead. However, Tomova fought back to level the score, ultimately taking the set to a tie-break. The Austrian came out on top in it to win the match 6-1, 7-6 (5).

Iga Swiatek vs Julia Grabher head-to-head

This will be the very first meeting between them, so the head-to-head stands at 0-0 for now.

Iga Swiatek vs Julia Grabher odds

(Odds are sourced from BetMGM)

Iga Swiatek vs Julia Grabher prediction

Grabher made the most of her second shot in Madrid by winning her first-round encounter against Tomova. Just like last year, Swiatek started her clay season on a strong note. Fresh off of her title-winning run in Stuttgart, she’ll be eager to keep the momentum going.

Grabher had a comfortable lead in the second set against Tomova, but allowed her opponent back into the match. She also threw in seven double faults. Such lapses could prove to be quite costly against an elite player of Swiatek’s caliber.

The Pole has distinguished herself as the best clay-courter of her generation. Her solid defensive skills, along with superior movement on the surface, means it’s next to impossible to get the better of her. Swiatek usually brushes aside lower-ranked players with minimal fuss, so expect her to do the same against Grabher.

Pick: Iga Swiatek to win in straight sets.