Veronika Kudermetova revealed she didn't have any special tactic against Iga Swiatek but just went out believing she could beat the four-time Grand Slam champion. Kudermetova, ranked at No 19 in the world, stunned top-seeded Swiatek 6-2 2-6 6-4 in the Tokyo quarterfinal.
After suffering four straight-set defeats to Swiatek, 26-year-old Kudermetova finally clinched her first win over the Pole. "No. I tried to just believe that I can beat her. Today it happened. I'm really happy that I managed to switch [the head-to-head] and win one match," Kudermetova said after the match.
When the moment came to Kudermetova to close out the match, the Russian was just focusing on the next point. "In the last game, I just focused on playing the point. I don't need to hit aces. I think that was the key. I was ready to play the rally, not just finish with the serve," Kudermetova said.
Kudermetova beats Swiatek in three sets
Kudermetova got off to an outstanding start to the match, claiming back-to-back breaks for an early 4-0 lead. In the eighth game, Kudermetova saved a break point before converting her third set point to seal the first set.
After losing the first set, Swiatek bounced back at the start of the second set as she earned an early second-set break to open a 3-0 lead. In the eighth game - when Kudermetova was serving to stay in the second set - Swiatek broke the Russian to win the second set and force a third set.
After losing the second set, Kudermetova made a positive start to the third set as she broke Swiatek in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Up by an early third-set break, Kudermetova held on to her service games for the remainder of the set to complete a three-set win. For Kudermetova, this was undoubtedly one of the biggest wins of her career.