Swiatek defeats Pegula for US Open semis slot

NEW YORK — World number one Iga Swiatek overcame a shaky serving performance to beat American Jessica Pegula 6-3 7-6(4) on Wednesday and reach the semi-finals of the US Open for the first time.

The top-seeded French Open champion dropped her racket and pumped her fist after the win, which guaranteed that she will remain the world’s top player when the tournament ends.

“I wasn’t expecting this at the beginning of the tournament,” Ms. Swiatek said in an on-court interview.

“I’m really working hard and trying to keep my expectations low. Today was such a tough match and I think the level was great, so I’m pretty happy that I handled it.”

Despite the victory the Pole is still trying to regain her dominant form from earlier in the year when she went on a 37-match winning streak.

The 21-year-old twice failed to serve out the match in the second set and was broken six times by the eighth-seeded Ms. Pegula, who saw her own serve broken seven times.

“I knew even though I’m breaking her that it’s not like in men’s matches where they are going to finish with their serve,” said Ms. Swiatek.

Ms. Swiatek will meet Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-finals. She holds a 3-1 record against the powerful Belarusian.

Ms. Pegula’s defeat ended any hope of an American woman winning the tournament in New York, with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams expected to head into retirement after her third-round loss last week. — Reuters