World number one Iga Swiatek celebrated a successful debut at the Bad Homburg Open presented by Engel & Völkers: The Pole defeated the German number one Tatjana Maria 5:7, 6:2, 6:0 on the Spielbank Bad Homburg Centre Court, which was sold out with 3500 spectators, and is through to the round of 16.

After 1:50 hours, Swiatek converted her first match point with a winner. “I’m quite happy with my performance, but can still improve. I’m just happy to have reached the next round,” said the four-time Grand Slam winner, who has been in the spa town for a week. On her personal Road to Wimbledon, Swiatek’s only stop will be in Bad Homburg.

Swiatek is celebrated on the sold-out Centre Court – “It was great”.

Maria, who just a day earlier had narrowly lost the final of the WTA tournament in Gaiba, Italy, had arrived in the spa town just six hours before the match – by plane from Bologna. But the travel stresses were not at all apparent to last year’s Wimbledon semifinalist at the start. In the first set, she did not let herself be shocked by an early loss of serve and won the set with the second break.

The favorite then adapted better and better to Maria’s slice backhand and dominated the match. Swiatek was loudly cheered by the Polish fans in the stands. “It was great that so many compatriots of mine were there,” emphasized “1GA,” who has been at the top of the world rankings for more than a year. In the round of the last 16, the 22-year-old will face Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann on Wednesday.

Wildcard holder Anna-Lena Friedsam also put up a good fight, but then lost to Egypt’s fourth seed Mayar Sherif 6-4, 4-6, 5-7 after 2:16 hours. “She came here with tournament wins behind her, and unfortunately I came here with the flu. That made a bit of a difference because I didn’t have that much time to prepare in terms of training days and training effort,” said Friedsam, the current German number two.

Sherif, ranked No. 31 in the world, 56 places higher than Friedsam, recently won the clay court events in Valencia and Makarska. The Rhineland-Palatinate native is nevertheless optimistic about the Wimbledon tournament starting next week. “I can play very dangerously on grass and hurt a lot of opponents,” Friedsam said, “because I can master this forward game.”

Last year’s finalist Bianca Andreescu also put in an energetic performance. The Canadian 2019 US Open winner converted her fourth match point to beat British wildcard Sonay Kartal 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 after 2:26 hours and will now face Rebeka Masarova of Spain in a duel to advance to the quarterfinals.

Lena Papadakis (Berlin), who was a lucky loser in the main draw, lost 6-0, 6-1 to Canadian Leylah Fernandez, a 2021 US Open finalist. Katerina Siniakova, the Czech who only lost to tournament ambassador Angelique Kerber in the final of the Bad Homburg Open presented by Engel & Völkers in 2021, caused a surprise,