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Swiatek holds off Pegula to reach US Open semi-finals

Iga Swiatek beats Jessica Pegula in straight sets on Wednesday at the US Open. Swiatek is through to the semi-finals and will face Aryna Sabalenka.

Jessica Pegula and Iga Swiatek, US Open 2022 Jessica Pegula and Iga Swiatek, US Open 2022 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

In what has been a wide open US Open on the men’s and women’s sides, there remains one Grand Slam champion in the field. Two-time Roland-Garros winner Iga Swiatek kept her hopes alive for a third slam triumph by battling past Jessica Pegula 6-3, 7-6(4) during quarter-final action on Wednesday night. 

Swiatek advanced after one hour and 53 minutes. The world No 1 will go up against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka on Friday.

Thirteen service breaks later, Swiatek survives

Wednesday night’s quarter-final won’t go down in the history books as a serving clinic. There were a total of 13 service breaks — seven in Swiatek’ favor and six for Pegula. Each woman broke serve a ridiculous five times in the second set alone. Swiatek twice failed to serve out the match — first at 5-4 and again at 6-5.

Nonetheless, the Pole righted the ship in the ensuing tiebreaker. She briefly trailed 2-1, but three points in a row allowed her to take control.

Swiatek converted seven of 11 break points and finished with 22 winners to Pegula’s 14.

I just wasn’t expecting to play so well here.

Iga Swiatek

Swiatek may be the No 1 player in the world, but her performance this fortnight — her best one in New York — has surprised her.

Iga Swiatek at the 2022 US Open in New York
Iga Swiatek at the 2022 US Open in New York Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

“Looking logically at last tournaments, I just didn’t know if this one is going to be possible for me to be consistent and to win so many matches in a row,” the 21-year-old admitted. “But, yeah, I feel like I’ve been playing better and better every week since the start of this swing. So, yeah, it surprised me because after the losses that I had in Toronto and Cincinnati I just wasn’t expecting to play so well here.

“It gave me actually a lot because I could be kind of an underdog again, not maybe fully, but just not expecting from myself that I’m going to win everything right now.”

Swiatek may not winning everything like she was this spring, but she is suddenly two wins away from another Grand Slam title.

US Open, other quarterfinal results

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