Iga Swiatek sealed a 33rd win on the bounce, beating Jessica Pegula 6-3 6-2 to progress to the semi-final of the French Open, where she will face Daria Kasatkina, who beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 7-5(5) earlier on Wednesday.
Swiatek lost her first set of the tournament in the previous round against Qinwen Zheng, and was out of sorts at times against Pegula – hitting 30 winners but 28 unforced errors in a match that ran to one hour and 31 minutes.
There was a controversial moment in the opening set when Swiatek was able to break serve despite replays showing that the ball had bounced twice just before she was able to flick over the winner.
That incident came at 3-3, and Swiatek would win seven of the next eight games to take control of the quarter-final at 6-3 4-1 to edge her towards a 33rd straight win and to set up a showdown with first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Kasatkina.
The Polish world No. 1 holds a 3-1 record against 25-year-old Kasatkina, with all three of those wins coming this year at the Australian Open, in Dubai and Doha. However, she admitted to nerves after the match against world No. 11 Pegula, but added that nerves help drive her on.
“Oh yeah I do [feel nervous],” she said in her on-court interview.
“I think when I stop feeling nervous something weird is going on. The thing is sometimes stress is an important thing that is going to make you more active and more tense. So you can really play your best performance. I tried to use it that way.”
It will be Swiatek’s third Grand Slam semi-final, after an appearance in the last four at Roland-Garros in 2020 where she went on to win the tournament and the Australian Open earlier this year.
World No. 1 Swiatek – who turned 21 on Tuesday – has dished out three bagels already in her run to the last four, and prior to her match on Wednesday, Mats Wilander said that there was no other player in the draw that could hurt her in the tournament.
“She is on a different level I think,” Wilander said
“I don’t know if there is a player left that can hurt her and I don’t think she is going to hurt herself in this tournament.
“She looks very, very stable.”