NEW YORK (AFP): World number one Iga Swiatek reached her first US Open semi-final on Wednesday with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) win over Jessica Pegula of the United States.
The French Open champion will face Aryna Sabalenka for a place in Saturday s final after making the last-four of a Slam for the third time in 2022.
“That will be a very tough match. There will be some fast serves and heavy hitting, just like tonight,” said Swiatek
In a mistake-filled quarter-final on Wednesday, there were 13 breaks of serve and a combined 61 unforced errors.
“It means a lot to be in the semi-finals for the first time,” said Swiatek.
“I am very happy as I have worked very hard but have kept my expectations low.
“It was a really tight match. I tried to push her back but she was putting pressure on me so that s what it went to a tiebreak.”
Swiatek overcame giving up the first break of the match in the fifth game to reel off 16 of the next 18 points to claim the opening set in 38 minutes.
The 21-year-old Pole and American eighth seed exchanged three service breaks apiece in the first eight games in an untidy second set.
It was the French Open champion who carved out the seventh break on a net cord to give herself the opportunity to serve for the match.
Eighth-ranked Pegula roused herself to stay alive in the contest before a double fault on break point in the 11th game handed Swiatek a second opportunity to seal a spot in the semi-finals.
The top seed failed again as Pegula sealed the 10th break to send the set into a tiebreak which the Pole dominated to clinch a third win over the American this year.