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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday May 7, 2023

After dropping her first clay-court match of the season, in three heated sets with her rival Aryna Sabalenka, clay juggernaut Iga Swiatek has no regrets about her performance.

Tennis Express

The Pole, who played her first Madrid final, lost for the first time against Sabalenka on clay on Saturday, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, but was generally pleased with her level and the way she adapted to Madrid’s tricky conditions, due to the 2156 of altitude that causes the venue to favor big hitters.

“We just played on a good level, but she was better today,” Swiatek said. “It's hard for me to analyze right now.

“Sometimes it was about a few shots that I could play a little bit better. She played some shots that were risky. Maybe sometimes I could [have been] more proactive, but honestly, I think we both played good. I don't have any like big regrets.”

Swiatek, who is 53-8 lifetime on clay, had never lost a set in three previous meetings with Sabalenka on the surface. She drops to 5-3 lifetime against the World No.2, but was unwilling to say that the conditions in Madrid were the reason for her loss.

“I don't think we should talk about that, because she played a really good match,” Swiatek said. “I I don't want to blame my loss to conditions or something else. Sometimes it's tougher; sometimes it's easier. That's why we have variety in tennis, and that's why sometimes players are playing better on some surfaces.”

“But it doesn't really matter because she won, and I just respect that and I don't want to kind of take it from Aryna.”

Swiatek, who saw her latest winning streak ended at nine victories, will head to Rome, where she is a two-time defending champion.

The Pole is 25-5 on the season as the road to Roland-Garros rounds to bend to her two favorite venues.

Boosting Swiatek’s confidence will be the fact that she is 32-3 combined at Rome and Roland-Garros, with two titles at each venue. Swiatek will look to defend titles at both Rome and Roland-Garros as she seeks to re-establish herself as the WTA’s official queen of clay in the coming weeks.

She could very well find herself across the net from Sabalenka in another big match very soon, but Swiatek is happy to keep her focus on the task at hand - one match at a time.

“Against Aryna with her game and both of us being so consistent, it's gonna happen anyway. I don't know what tournament,” she said. “Doesn't matter for me. I'm treating every match, you know, with the same amount of importance and focus, so it doesn't matter what tournament.”