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Feb 22, 2024 1:17 pm

Iga Swiatek coasts into semifinals in Dubai

Iga Swiatek

Top-seeded Iga Swiatek breezed to a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 6 Qinwen Zheng on Thursday to reach the semifinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates.

Swiatek saved all three break points she faced and broke Zheng three times to dispatch the Australian Open finalist in 86 minutes. The Poland native has won all six of her head-to-head encounters versus the native of China.

Swiatek will face the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal clash between third-seeded Coco Gauff or Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya. Gauff is playing in her third quarterfinal of 2024 on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Sorana Cirstea of Romania dropped the first set and trailed 5-1 in the second before rallying for a 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2 win over Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.

“This has to be the biggest comeback of my career,” Cirstea said after winning the match in 2 hours, 41 minutes. “To be honest, at a set and 5-1 (down), I wasn’t really thinking about winning anymore. I was like, make it nicer for the public, try to make it a little bit longer, try to give them a little bit of nicer tennis. I still don’t know how I managed it.”

Cirstea fired aces to save two match points at 5-1 down in the second set. She saved another with a volley at 5-2.

The seventh-seeded Vondrousova squandered six match points en route to losing the match.

Cirstea will continue her quest for a title when she faces unseeded Italian Jasmine Paolini, who advanced via walkover after fourth-seeded Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan bowed out due to gastrointestinal illness.

–Field Level Media

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