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Swiatek extends winning streak, sets up Miami final showdown against Osaka

Iga Swiatek extends her winning streak to 16 matches with a straight-set victory over Jessica Pegula in the Miami semi-finals on Thursday. Swiatek will go up against Naomi Osaka for the title.

Iga Swiatek after her match against Petra Kvitova at the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Iga Swiatek after her match against Petra Kvitova at the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Miami Open 2022Women’s Singles Draw Results Order of Play

Iga Swiatek is one win away from completing the Sunshine Double.

Swiatek, who triumphed in Indian Wells two weeks ago, booked her spot in the Miami Open final by beating Jessica Pegula 6-2, 7-5 on Thursday night. The soon-to-be world No. 1 advanced after one hour and 48 minutes.

Swiatek tested for first time in Miami

On her way to the semis, Swiatek did not drop a single set and no set was more competitive than 6-3.

That same story continued through the opening frame of play against Pegula, which Swiatek dominated in swift fashion. However, things changed in the second. Some uncharacteristic errors by the 20-year-old Pole led to a 4-2 deficit, but Swiatek rallied to take a 5-4 lead. The see-saw set saw Pegula break back in the 10th game to stay alive and even the score at 5-5. Time and time again, though, Swiatek had an answer for whatever was being thrown her way. Miami’s second seed broke to love for 6-5 and then served out the proceedings with little trouble.

I am excited, but I’m going to treat it like any other match.

Iga Swiatek

When it comes to WTA 1000 events, it probably doesn’t get any bigger than Saturday’s final.

It will feature the next No. 1 (Swiatek) and a former world No. 1 (Naomi Osaka). One is looking to capture back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami, while the other is trying to work her way back up the rankings following well-documented struggles both on and off the court (Osaka is currently 77th).

“I am excited for sure,” Swiatek said, “but on the other hand, for me the most important job is this is a match like any other. Really, I don’t want to change my routines; I don’t want to change my attitude, because it’s been working out pretty well. I’m going to treat it like any other match.”

The only previous meeting between Swiatek and Osaka came three years ago in Toronto, where the Japanese superstar prevailed 7-6(4), 6-4.

“I remember playing Iga in Toronto when she was first coming up, and my immediate thought was, ‘wow, this girl is really athletic; she’s sliding all around the place,’ Osaka reflected.

“Yeah, I think it’s really amazing to see how far she’s come. She’s just so motivated. I know when I won Indian Wells I was just like really dead, and then they made me play Serena in the first round (of Miami). I was like, ‘Whoa, dude.’ It’s just incredible to see she’s still in this tournament and still fighting, and she’s going to be No. 1 soon or already. It’s really cool. I think the WTA is definitely doing its thing.”

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