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The streak hits 15 – surging Swiatek stops Kvitova to reach Miami semis

Soon to be No 1 Iga Swiatek didn’t drop the beat as she set a semi-final clash with American Jessica Pegula on Wednesday night in Miami

After her second-round win over Viktorija Golubic in Miami, Iga Swiatek learned that she would become the WTA’s new No 1 when the WTA updates its rankings on April 4th. Meantime, the Pole has statements to make and a winning streak to take care of, and the 20-year-old took care of her business in emphatic fashion on Wednesday night as she sauntered past two-time Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova, 6-3, 6-3 at the Miami Open.

Swiatek, who stretched her winning streak to a career-best 15, didn’t face a single break point as she improved to 24-3 in 2022 – statement made.

Kvitova was thrilled to have the chance to compete with a legend like Kvitova for the first time. She talked about her respect for the Czech in her press conference.

“For last couple of weeks I had a chance to play with so many great players,” she said. “You know, I really appreciate her like fighting spirit, especially after what she’s been through. She’s on tour for so many years that she has a lot of experience. I kind of, you know, wanted to use like few years of my experience also in this match. But, you know, I feel like having a chance to play against these players is great and I’m going to remember that, even though I think we are going to have many more chances to play again.”

Just 15 games dropped through four rounds in Miami

Per Tennis Majors partner Opta Sports, Swiatek’s nine games dropped en route to the quarter-finals were the lowest total for a women’s singles player in Miami since Kim Clijsters in 2010. Swiatek stayed stingy on Wednesday, surrendering just six games to the 32-year-old Czech, taking her total to 15 games dropped through the semi-finals.

It hasn’t been the best year for Kvitova, who entered the contest with a 9-7 record in 2022, but she had flicked a switch in Miami, breaking serve 17 times in three matches to reach the last eight.

Kvitova could not solve the Swiatek serve

But Swiatek slammed the door shut from the service stripe. The Pole won 66.7 percent of her second-serve points (10 of 15) and made 71.2 percent of her first serves in the one hour and 17-minute contest.

What pleased Swiatek most about the win?

“For sure my first serve, and I would say, just keeping up with her pace and actually giving back even stronger balls and forcing my opponent to make a little bit more mistakes,” she said.

On the other side of the ball she attacked Kvitova’s second serve well, winning 13 of 18 second-serve return points, and broke serve three times on seven chances.

Next: Swiatek vs Pegula

Next up for the soon to be world No 1 will be a semi-final with American Jessica Pegula. The pair have met only once previously, with Pegula coming away with a three-set triumph at Washington, D.C. in the round of 16 in 2019.

Nearly three years ago, that contest came more than a year before Swiatek won her first major title at Roland-Garros.

Both players have improved vastly since, and the pair’s second meeting should have a very different complexion.

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