French Open: Swiatek to meet Kasatkina in Roland Garros semi-finals

PARIS (Agencies): World number one Iga Swiatek further cleared her path towards the French Open title by knocking out 11th seed Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals.
Swiatek, 21, is the hot favourite for the clay-court Grand Slam event and won 6-3 6-2 for a 33rd straight victory.
Behind the Polish top seed, 28-year-old Pegula was the highest ranked player left in the women’s singles.
Daria Kasatkina, seeded 20th, meets Swiatek after a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) win over Veronika Kudermetova. It will be the 2014 junior champion’s first senior Grand Slam semi-final.
Not for a while has there been as strong a favourite for a Grand Slam women’s singles title as 2020 Roland Garros champion Swiatek. A stunning start to 2022 has seen the Polish player win five consecutive tournaments – in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome – and take over as the WTA world number one following Ashleigh Barty’s surprise retirement.
Swiatek will equal Venus Williams’ 35-match streak as the longest by a WTA player this century if she wins the Roland Garros title on Saturday. After cruising through the first three rounds on the Paris clay, Swiatek has not played as fluently in the past two rounds and was helped by a slice of luck in a decisive moment in the first set against Pegula.
At 3-3 and break point, the serving Pegula clipped over a drop shot which Swiatek was struggling to meet before stretching her racquet and scooping away a winner.
However, replays showed there appeared to be a double bounce and meaning the point should have gone to Pegula. The American, who is more adept on hard courts but reached the Madrid Open final on clay recently, began to look increasingly exasperated as momentum turned away from her.
Swiatek broke serve again to seal the opener with her second set point and took Pegula’s serve twice more in the next set – winning five of the final six games.
After some resistance from Pegula, Swiatek took her fourth match point with a sizzling backhand winner down the line before punching the air in pleasure. Kasatkina through to maiden major semi-final
Kasatkina, 25, took the first set against the run of early aggressive play from her fellow Russian Kudermetova.
Both players traded breaks of serve in an edgy second set but 20th seed Kasatkina overcame her nerves to win on her fifth match point with a drop shot.
“You could see the match was really nervous and tight, especially the tie-break, but I am happy at the end I won,” Kasatkina said in her on-court interview.
“It’s a very important win for me and I’m happy to be in the semi-final for the first time.”
Kasatkina, playing in her third Grand Slam quarter-final but first since 2018, has made the last four without dropping a set. Kudermetova was in her first Grand Slam quarter-final and made 50 unforced errors as she struggled to adapt to the occasion.
The 25-year-old needed a medical timeout at 5-6 in the second set but battled hard to save four match points in the tie-break.