Swiatek overtakes Fernandez to set semi-final date with Azarenka

Defending champion Iga Swiatek made short work of US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez in a dominant 6-1 6-2 win at the Adelaide International on Thursday to stage a quarter-final against Victoria Azarenka, double winner of the Grand Slam.

Roland Garros 2020 winner Swiatek took control of the game 1-1 in the first set and took advantage of Fernandez’s failed serve to wrap up the win in 75 minutes in the Australian Open warm-up .

The Polish hit 17 winners against her 19-year-old opponent and didn’t face a breaking point as she extended her winning streak in Adelaide to seven games.

“I was playing against a younger girl, which is pretty new to me,” said Swiatek, 20. “She’s pretty talented and she’s a Grand Slam finalist so I knew it was going to be tough.

“I felt really confident and I’m quite happy that I was able to finish it really quickly and didn’t lose my focus.”

Swiatek, who beat Belinda Bencic to win the title last year, will face Azarenka in the next round after the former world number one claimed a 6-3 7-5 victory over Australian wildcard Priscilla Hon at Memorial Drive.

Hon knocked out Petra Kvitova in the first round on Monday and threatened a second set tiebreaker against Azarenka, but the Belarusian clinched victory in just under 90 minutes.

Swiatek said she looked forward to her match against Azarenka, who won both her Grand Slam titles at Melbourne Park.

“I love playing against such an experienced player because it’s always a challenge,” Swiatek said of the 32-year-old.

“I have a different mindset when I play against players like that because I watched them when I was younger. It shows me my progress, but I also have a lot of respect for them.

Sixth seed Sofia Kenin saved three match points to beat home seed Ajla Tomljanovic 3-6 7-6 (5) 6-3 in two hours and 30 minutes in a late-night game, setting up a meeting in quarterfinal with world number one Ash Barty.

Japan’s Misaki Doi defeated Russia’s Anastasia Gasanova 7-6 (4) 6-3 and will face Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan in the last eight.

In the men’s ATP 250 event, Frenchman Gael Monfils won 6-2 6-1 over Argentinian Juan Manuel Cerundolo, concluding the match in just 53 minutes. He will face Tommy Paul in the quarterfinals.

Second seed Karen Khachanov defeated American Steve Johnson 6-4 4-6 6-2. The Russian, who scored 16 aces in his victory, will then face Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov.


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