Iga Swiatek, who celebrated her 21st birthday on Tuesday, made it through to the French Open semi-finals with a routine win against Jessica Pegula; the world No 1 from Poland will take on Russian Daria Kasatkina for a spot in Saturday's final
Wednesday 1 June 2022 18:35, UK
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 33 matches to stay on course for her second French Open title in three years.
Swiatek eased through her quarter-final against American 11th seed Jessica Pegula, winning 6-3 6-2.
The Pole has dropped just one set en route to the semi-finals where she will take on world No 20 Daria Kasatkina.
"She was playing very low so to be good I had to be low on my legs. It was the key and I'm pretty happy I was playing with a good dynamic to push her back a little bit," said 2020 champion Swiatek, who is bidding to become the fourth player since 2000 to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup multiple times after Justine Henin, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
"Sometimes stress is a positive thing, it's going to make you more active and more tense so you can play a good performance. So I tried to use it that way."
Swiatek showed early signs of nerves and after trading breaks of serve, she moved 4-3 up before holding and setting up set points in the ninth game.
Pegula did her a favour by sending a routine forehand wide on the second and another of those gave Swiatek a break for 3-1 in the second set.
She kept her grip but squandered three match points before wrapping it up on Pegula's serve with a booming backhand winner down the line.
|Player||Consecutive wins||Streak ended|
|Venus Williams||35||Linz in 2000|
|Serena Williams||34||Wimbledon in 2013|
|Iga Swiatek||33||Ongoing in 2022|
|Justine Henin||32||Australian Open in 2008|
|Serena Williams||27||Madrid in 2015|
Kasatkina won the all-Russian last-eight clash against Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.
Kudermetova, ranked 29, peppered the vast Philippe Chatrier stands with the ball and ultimately paid the price for a scrappy performance with 50 unforced errors.
"You could see that the match was a really nervous one and tight, especially the tie break," said Kasatkina, who missed four consecutive match points before finally sealing the win.
"It's a very important win for me and I am happy to be in the semis for the first time. I tried to forget about the games I had lost. It is so mental but I am happy that I was able to keep it."
"French fries make a lot of difference, I must say, and here they are good in France," the Russian said.
"If you play good, you have to treat yourself. Even if you are not playing good it's not bad to treat yourself, because you are pushing and you are trying."
She added: "It has to be balance in everything and it's not easy to find it, but with years and experience it's coming together."
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