Tennis Round Up: Diaz Acosta Wins Argentina Open, Swiatek Wins in Qatar

Wild card Facundo Diaz Acosta was able to win his first ever ATP Tour title on Sunday, beating third seed Nicolas Jarry 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Argentina Open. He is only the second left-hander to win the title after Spain’s Rafael Nadal.

Rio Open Tennis tournament: Facundo Diaz Acosta
IMAGO / Action Plus

The victory came much easier than expected for the Argentine who entered the week ranked No. 87 in the ATP Rankings. Jarry looked out of sorts after his semi-final win against defending champion Carlos Alcaraz. The 7-6(2) 6-3 win against Alcaraz likely took a lot out of the Chilean as he could never really find his feet in the final. 

Alcaraz, the world No. 2, is looking to win his first trophy of the season after losing in the quarter-finals in the Australian Open. He is now set to compete at the Rio Open in Brazil, also on clay, which he won in 2022.

Jarry’s struggles to maintain his form in the final were evident with his loss of serve early in the first set. At the other end of the court, Diaz Acosta was playing some of his best tennis, limiting mistakes and coming up with big winners when required. He dominated most rallies and pushed Jarry all over the court, wearing him out.

In the second set, the Argentine was able to stabilize early but struggled with his serve at 4-3. He faced two break points and after a backhand error found himself down 5-3 fighting for his tournament life. In the last game, Diaz Acosta survived a break opportunity and in the end converted his sixth championship point to pull off his biggest win yet.

The win is expected to push Diaz’s ATP ranking into the 50’s and could become the start of a breakthrough year. He will be playing in Brazil next month where he will look to build on his great performance in Buenos Aires.

Iga Swiatek Wins Third Straight Qatar Open

World number one Iga Swiatek was able to claim her third straight Qatar Open title on Sunday with a straight-set victory over Elena Rybakina. It was a great start to the 2024 calendar year after her shock exit in the third round of the Australian Open last month. 

Swiatek is the first player since Serena Williams to clinch three successive WTA 1000 titles at the same event. Williams was able to record the feat at the Miami Open from 2013-15. It is four-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek’s 18th overall ATP title. 

Swiatek has an amazing record at the Qatar open, with 12 straight wins, having lost only one game in Doha so far. She has defeated Victoria Azarenka and Karolína Pliskovain in the quarter-final and semi-final games respectively before taking on Rybakina in the final.

Even though Swiatek was able to win in straight sets, the match wasn’t an easy one for the 22-year-old. She trailed by a double break in the first set before regrouping to push her opponent to a tiebreaker. She was forced to save a set point in the tie-breaker but was able to win 10-8 after 90 minutes.

The second set win came much easier for Swaitek, as she breezed through it 6-2. It should be noted that Rybakina had to take a medical timeout after hitting her leg with her racquet while serving in the first set. This seemed to bother her throughout the match and likely led to her subpar performance in the second set.

Swiatek had lost her three matches against Rybakina in 2023 and will be happy to get through the Russian. Both players are expected to play in the Dubai Tennis Championship, which begins on Friday and could very well meet again in the later stages of the competition.

Swaitek will be  the front-runner in almost every tournament she plays in this year. She will be looking to add to her grand slam collection with her fourth French Open in a few months time.

The men’s single draw of the Qatar Open is still in progress. Top seeded Andrey Rublev is a favourite to take home the title and has already qualified for the round of 16.