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World number 1 Iga Swiatek prepared for the Roland-Garros semi-finals on Wednesday by eliminating American Jessica Pegula. In the other match of the day, Russia’s Daria Kasatkin defeated her compatriot Veronika Kudermetova.
World number 1 Iga Swiatek was drafted on Wednesday 1uh June, the day after his 21e anniversary, for the semi-finals of Roland-Garros by eliminating the American Jessica Pegula (11e), 6-3, 6-2.
The Polish continues her 33e rank success and settles alone on the podium of the longest invincible players of the XXIe century, behind the Williams sisters (Venus, 35; Serena, 34). She was previously tied with Belgian Justine Henin.
Jostled in the previous round by the young Chinese Qinwen Zheng (74e), who had taken a set from her for the first time since April 23, the Pole was able to raise the game at the right time against a pugnacious Pegula, especially at the start of the game, despite numerous unforced errors (28 for 30 winning moves) .
Born on May 31, Swiatek then signed on camera “I’m getting old but I’m still fresh”, in reference to her 21e birthday, which she vowed in an interview not really knowing how to celebrate when it falls in the middle of Roland-Garros.
“I don’t know where the limit is for a celebration, maybe in a few years I can watch the Champions League final in the middle of the tournament,” she joked. Like a little nod to the king of Parisian clay Rafael Nadal who went to watch the match between Liverpool and Real Madrid on Saturday evening.
Swiatek, the last member of the top 10 still in contention after the hecatomb of the first week, is a big favorite at Porte d’Auteuil. She appeared on clay in Paris after winning the five previous tournaments she took part in (Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome).
New final in perspective
In the next round, Swiatek will face Russian Daria Kasatkina, who qualified for her first Grand Slam semi-final by beating her compatriot Veronika Kudermetova, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).
The 25-year-old player has still not lost a set in the Paris tournament. She is also the one who has lost the fewest games so far. To reach the quarters, she had yielded only fourteen. Only Dinara Safina (five in 2009), Serena Williams (ten in 2013) and Mary Pierce (thirteen in 2000) had done better. And all of them had then risen to the minimum in the final.
This time, against Kudermetova (29e), it was a little more (ten games conceded), but despite some tension at the time of the conclusion – she lost her serve while serving for the match, before winning on her sixth match point –, she knew how to keep a cool head.
“Tomorrow I have another mountain to climb,” admitted the Russian, who lost her three confrontations with the Pole. “But it was different, it was tough, at the start of the year. (…) I want to win, I have the rage to win, too. It will be a good match”, she said. judged, before adding: “You never know what can happen in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam.”
Swiatek herself doesn’t want to be “overconfident”: “I know I have to expect anything.”
At the bottom of the table too, anything can happen. Gauff is a phenomenon of precocity, revealed in 2019 when she had climbed to the round of 16 at Wimbledon at only 15 years old after qualifying. She is now 23e world at only 18 years old. Trévisan for his part reached this week at 28 the best ranking of his career (59e).
The only certainty: whatever the outcome of the semi-finals, Roland-Garros will once again have an unprecedented final.