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Swiatek sets up Gauff semi-final | The Express Tribune

Swiatek sets up Gauff semi-final | The Express Tribune
  • PublishedOctober 6, 2023

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BEIJING:

Iga Swiatek will play Coco Gauff in the China Open women’s semi-finals, after the world’s second and third-ranked players both won in Beijing on Friday.

World number two Swiatek came from a set behind to defeat Caroline Garcia 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 in a match that hinged on two nail-biting tie-breaks.

Gauff, the US Open champion, comfortably disposed of world number six Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-4.

Swiatek endured a tense opening set that Garcia – ranked 10th – eventually stole with a vicious passing shot at the end of a marathon tie-break.

The Pole was 4-1 up in set two but threatened a match-ending collapse against a stubborn Garcia, finally edging it when the Frenchwoman netted a limp backhand.

From there, Swiatek took control, notching a double break in the deciding set and finally taking match point at the fifth time of asking.

“For sure, it was really intense. We played really fast,” the four-time Grand Slam winner told a post-match news conference.

“There was no time sometimes to think or analyse. I’m happy I used my intuition a lot,” she said.

“I just knew that she was risking, so… her mistakes could come.”

Gauff sailed through a rapid first set and made short work of her opponent in a dominant second, breaking serve in the fifth game.

She took the match by thundering down a meaty serve that Sakkari could only return wide.

The China Open is taking place for the first time since 2019 after Beijing ended strict zero-Covid travel curbs.

The men’s competition concluded on Wednesday, when Italy’s Jannik Sinner beat world number three Daniil Medvedev in the final.



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