Swiatek comes back against Niemeier, first Polish woman to make US Open quarter-finals

Iga Swiatek won against Jule Niemeier 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 on Monday. She’ll play American Jessica Pegula, the No 8 seed, in the next round

Iga Swiatek Iga Swiatek (Antoine Couvercelle/Panoramic)

Pole Iga Swiatek, the top seed, beat German Jule Niemeier 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 to advance to the quarter-finals of the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Monday. It was the 19th time this season that Swiatek won a set 6-0.

That makes her the first Polish woman to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open, and extends her record against German players to 10-0. Yet, today wasn’t arguably the most memorable match Swiatek played this year, and she’s going to need to raise the bar if she wants to stay alive in that tournament. On Money, she lost her serve five times and finished with 31 unforced errors for 19 winners (42 to 24 for Niemeier). But she was bold enough when it mattered (18/24 at the net) and kept fighting to avoid sinking.

“I’m pretty happy that I didn’t give up, just tried to find some solutions in the second and third set. I think the match was pretty physical. In the end, I felt like I have more power. I’m pretty happy that I was solid in those important moments”, said the woman who won 37 matches in a row this year.

Niemeier was sanguine afterwards, saying: “I think it was a great experience for me to play on Armstrong against the best player in the world at the moment…I played a really good first set. I felt really good on court. Played aggressive. Played my game.

“Yeah, then I felt like I was serving not that well anymore. She was playing much better. So then it’s tough, of course, if you’re not serving 100% to beat a player like Iga, it’s pretty difficult.

“You could see it in the second, but especially in the third set. Even though I felt like I was not serving that well any more in the second, I still had chances. I mean, we were breaking each other, like, two or three times. If I could hold one service game maybe at, I don’t know, 4-all, 5-all, maybe I can win the second set. But that how it is.”

Swiatek, ranked No 1, will face American Jessica Pegula, the No 8 seed, next. And she wants to believe that her confidence will be boosted by today’s escape even if the priority for her is still to adjust better to the conditions of play.

“For sure this match gave me a lot of confidence because it’s always nice to come back and kind of lean on that, that you can change something and play better, also make some adjustment during the game. I feel more confident every match, but still, I’m trying not to set my expectations too high because I know anything can happen. I don’t want to overthink, so I’m just focused on the next match. But during the match, I’m just focused on the next point. But I feel like it’s getting higher, but still, it’s not like it’s the base of my tennis right now. I’m more focused on the technical stuff.”

The 21-year-old Pole won against Italian Jasmine Paolini (6-3, 6-0), American Sloane Stephens (6-3, 6-2) and American Lauren Davis (6-3, 6-4) ahead of her victory.

In the previous rounds of Flushing Meadows, Niemeier, ranked No 108, defeated American wildcard Sofia Kenin (7-6 (3), 6-4), Kazakh Yulia Putintseva (6-4, 6-3) and Chinese Qinwen Zheng (6-4, 7-6 (5)).

US Open, other last 16 results:

  • Jessica Pegula beat Petra Kvitova (21): 6-3, 6-2
  • Ons Jabeur (5) beat Veronika Kudermetova (18): 7-6 (1), 6-4
  • Ajla Tomljanovic beat Liudmila Samsonova: 7-6 (8), 6-1
  • Coco Gauff (12) beat Shuai Zhang: 7-5, 7-5
  • Caroline Garcia (17) beat Alison Riske-Amritraj (29): 6-4, 6-1

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