Swiatek sees Pegula to organize Kasatkina’s semi-final at Roland-Garros

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Top seed Iga Swiatek qualified for the French Open semi-finals on Wednesday with a straight-sets win over 11th seed Jessica Pegula

It was 6-3, 6-2 in 89 minutes for the 21-year-old Pole who recorded her 33rd straight win of the season.

The roller has earned him titles on the hard courts of Doha, Indian Wells and Miami as well as the clay courts of Stuttgart and Rome.

The latest triumph came on center court against the 28-year-old American who was making her quarter-final debut in Paris.

Swiatek started with more confidence and won Pegula’s first service game but faltered holding two points to make it 2-0 up.

She lost four points in a row to spit her own serve.

Course

It was tied until game seven when Pegula’s serve was threatened.

Swiatek had two chances to break Pegula’s serve in game seven. She only needed one.

In an increasingly physical contest, Pegula asked a question about Swiatek’s athleticism. The answer was categorical. The Pole chased a bunt and aimed the ball over the net for a winner and a 4-3 lead.

She took the next two games to wrap up the opener in 43 minutes.

Power

The second set became something of a slug party with neither player wanting to try much in terms of slicing or bunting shots. Surprising. When Pegula quit power plays, she reaped rewards.

She fashioned a break point in game three, but it was snuffed out as Swiatek continued a three-game winning streak to lead 4-1.

Although Pegula stayed in touch, the end weighed heavily. And that came after another cross backhand fight.

Triumph

Swiatek sent his shot down the line for a winner and Pegula was the loser.

“Of course I’m nervous before I go out on the pitch,” Swiatek told on-pitch interviewer Alex Corretja after his win.

“If I don’t feel nervous, something very strange is likely to happen.”

Swiatek, who won the title in 2020, will face 20th seed Daria Kasatkina on Thursday for a spot in Saturday’s final.

The 25-year-old Russian beat her compatriot Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 7-6 in just over two hours.

nerves

It was understandably a nervous affair on center court.

Kasatkina, the 20th seed, reached the quarter-finals in 2017 while Kudermetova, the 29th seed, had never reached the second week in Paris.

“It was hard to deal with mentally because deep down I wanted to win a lot and in those moments it feels like victory is slipping away from you,” Kasatkina said.

“But I’m just happy with how I stayed on the pitch and didn’t put myself in a situation where I was disappointed. So I’m really happy with that mental part of myself.”

She will have to be on her guard on Thursday. Swiatek has won all three of its matches this year.

“It was on hard courts, at the beginning of the year,” Kasatkina said.

“I wasn’t in the same form as now, so I can’t compare what we’re going to have tomorrow and what we had in February and March when we were playing.

“It will be a completely different game. I want to win a lot and Iga wants to win too. It will be a good game.”


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