US Open: Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka seek to reach new highs in Flushing Meadows



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US Open: Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka seek to reach new highs in Flushing Meadows

Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka will play the semi-final at the 2022 US Open after getting through their respective quarter-final matches in straight sets. Neither player conceded a set en route to the semis. Sabalenka, who played the first semi-final against 2016 US Open runner-up, the 22nd-seeded Karolina Pliskova posted a straightforward win over the Czech.

The sixth seed won 6-1, 7-6(4) in an hour and 22 minutes. The higher-ranked player wrapped up the opening set in just 28 minutes, ending it with three breaks of serve. In the second set, neither player lost her serve and Sabalenka secured the one mini-break in the tie-break to run away with the match.

Sabalenka’s serve was on point throughout the match. She won 69% of her first-serve and 72% of her second-serve points to Pliskova winning 70% of her first-serve and 64% of her second-serve points. Sabalenka didn’t face any break point in the match.

She had thrice as many winners as Pliskova’s 10 and 28 unforced errors to the latter’s 23.

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Meanwhile, in the evening session, the world no. 1 Swiatek ousted the last remaining American woman in the draw, eighth seed Jessica Pegula.

Swiatek won 6-3, 7-6(4) in an hour and 53 minutes. In the first set, Pegula went up a break in the fifth game only to hand the break back in the following game. Being unable to consolidate the break also took away Pegula’s momentum and she dropped her serve in the eighth game that gave Swiatek the chance to serve the set out and go up in the match.

There were five breaks of serve in the second set with Swiatek getting the chance to serve for the match in the 10th and the 12th game. On both occasions, she failed to bring up match points and handed back the break to her opponent.

In the tie-break, both opponents traded a mini-break before Swiatek composed herself to prevail in the match. The 2022 US Open’s the first time that Iga Swiatek’s reached this far in New York. Meanwhile, for Sabalenka, this is the second consecutive year that she’s made it this far at the Major.

This will be the fifth meeting between the two players and the fourth this year. Except for their first match played in the 2021 WTA Finals, Swiatek’s won the rest, thus carrying a 3-1 record into the upcoming match-up. Photo Credit: Simon Bruty/USTA