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Jun 1, 2022 2:14 pm

Iga Swiatek, Daria Kasatkina reach French Open semifinals

Iga Swiatek of Poland won her 33rd consecutive match and Russia’s Daria Kasatkina advanced to her first Grand Slam semifinal on Wednesday at the French Open in Paris.

The top-seeded Swiatek cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over 11th-seeded American Jessica Pegula. One day after her 21st birthday, Swiatek tallied 30 winners against 28 unforced errors and broke Pegula’s serve five times.

“Getting old, but still fresh,” Swiatek wrote on the lens of a courtside TV camera.

Kasatkina, the No. 20 seed, eliminated countrywoman and No. 29 Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the day’s other quarterfinal clash at Roland Garros. Kasatkina took advantage of 50 unforced errors by her opponent.

Swiatek is 3-1 in head-to-head matches with Kasatkina, with all three wins coming this year by straight sets. Swiatek lost only 11 games combined in those victories this season at the Australian Open, Dubai and Qatar.

No. 18 Coco Gauff will meet unseeded Italian Martina Trevisan in the other semifinal.

Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, defeated Pegula for the second time during her 33-match win streak that includes five consecutive titles. They also clashed in the Miami Open semifinals in March.

Swiatek’s streak is the third longest this century behind Venus Williams (35 in 2000) and Serena Williams (34 in 2013).

Swiatek got a fortunate break to go ahead 4-3 in the first set. Television replays showed that a drop shot by Pegula bounced twice before Swiatek returned it for a winner.

Swiatek cruised from there and only faced two break points on a sunny afternoon, saving one.

“Today is warmer, so I feel like the ball is flying a little bit faster,” Swiatek said. “So I had to adjust to that, for sure.”

Kasatkina reached the final four for the first time in her 26th appearance at a major. She lost her two previous appearances in Grand Slam quarterfinals, falling to Sloane Stephens in 2018 at Roland Garros and to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon the same year.

“Everything happens for the first time and I’m really happy to be in the semis,” Kasatkina said. “Dream coming true and everything is fine.”

Kasatkina finished with only 16 winners but just 25 unforced errors, half the total posted by Kudermetova. Kudermetova fell behind 6-1 in the tiebreak but fought off four matched points before succumbing.

“Tomorrow is another mountain in front of me which I have to climb,” Kasatkina said. “… I want to win a lot, she wants to win as well, and it’s going to be a good match.”

–Field Level Media

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