Swiatek: from being on the ropes to a bagel
Iga Swiatek walked a tightrope for much of his game against Jule Niemeier but eventually got him through (2-6, 6-4, 6-0) and is now in the US quarter-finals Open. The Pole, leader of the classification and first favorite in Flushing Meadows, faced the German, 108th, on Tuesday for the first time in her career. And whether it was due to a lack of depth or a human slip, he let the opening set slip away with a certain ease, after breaks from his rival in the first and seventh games.
The Niemeier machine forced even more, which became 2-1 with a break in favor in second. But Swiatek got serious, returning the break right away to make it 3-2. From there, a succession of breaks and counter-breaks that ended up benefiting number one. When Niemeier served for 5-5 he went with a 15-40 which he did not lose. Niemeier ran out of gas to stand up to today’s most consistent tennis player and the third set ended in a pickle: only nine points won, not a game up his sleeve.
Swiatek, who has an immaculate 10-0 record against German female tennis players throughout her career, is already the first Polish woman to reach the penultimate round of the US Open. She has never lost in a Grand Slam against a player outside the top 100 and continues to work her way to a final which, if won, would make her the first No. 1 seed to win since. Serena in 2014.
Her next rival will be American Jessica Pegula, who won a convincing 6-3, 6-2 against Czech Kvitova. The eighth in the standings dispatched the 21st in just one hour and ten minutes. He had never beaten a seed in New York and this year is the first time he has stayed there until the second week. She is in good form on hard court (she is the fifth most wins this season on this surface), but now she is struggling to crack.
Pliskova, quarter-finalist for the fifth time
Karolina Pliskova won in three sets (7-5, 6-7(5) and 6-2 in 3:02) against Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and will play in the quarter-finals of the US Open for the fifth time. The Czech, runner-up in 2016, also passed the round of 16 last year. He had a face-to-face with Azarenka (5-4 in his favor now), whom he had beaten for the last time with a return three years ago in Rome. Pliskova has won ten in the last three tournaments, as well as the previous 12 this season.
After dispatching 53 winners on Monday, on Wednesday she will face another Belarusian, Aryna Sabalenka, who came from behind to beat American Danielle Collins 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 2:28. Sabalenka took the measure of a rival that she won in her four matches, including three at the US Open (2018, 2021 and 2022). Last year’s semi-finalist had to save two match points to qualify against Estonian Kaia Kanepi and three-set matches weren’t going too well this season (12-21), but he’s already one step away from repeating his performance from last season. Double faults, Aryna’s Achilles’ heel, further stifled Collins, who committed 12 of the eight she committed.
#Swiatek #ropes #bagel