Iga Suatek benefited from the chair umpire’s no-call in the double bounce which gave her a crucial first set service break during a match-changing five-game run, as the tournament’s No. 1 seed went to the semifinals with 6. Roland-Garros 3, 6-2 win over Jessica Pegular.
Since Serena Williams’ 34 consecutive wins in 2013, Sweettech has extended its winning streak to 33 matches, the longest tour.
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In the women’s semifinals, Sweettech will face Daria Kasatkiner, 20, and Coco Gaff, 18, an 18-year-old American, and Martina Travisan, a 28-year-old unseeded Italian.
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Only before Swiatek had participated in the final four of a major tournament, losing in the semifinals of the Australian Open in January and winning the title in 2020 when he was out of the top 50.
“It’s a little different this year, because I’m not an underdog,” he said, “and really everything has changed.”
Kasatkina lost to No. 29 Veronica Kudarmetova 6-4, 7-6 (5) between two Russian players who will not be able to compete at Wimbledon later this month due to the country’s attack on Ukraine.
They had a mistake-filled quarter-final, with the players coming together for 75 unforced errors, 50 Kudarmetova. This allowed Casatkina to win despite having only 16 winners in the 165-point course.
“It was a roller coaster,” said Casatkina, who has not reached a major quarterfinal in four years. “I am just happy with the way I was in court and I did not find myself in a situation where I was frustrated and staffed. Really happy with this emotional part. “
In the men’s quarterfinals, 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic advanced to the semifinals of the French Open for the first time with 33 aces and defeated No. 7 Andre Rublev 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6. 7-6 (10-2) 4 hours, 10 minutes.
The 33-year-old 20-year-old Cilic of Croatia, who has amassed a total of 88 winners in 35 of Rubelv’s, is one of five active men who have reached at least the semifinals in each of the four major tournaments. He will face No. 6 Caspar Rudd or 19-year-old Holger Rune on Friday to reach the final.
A day after his 21st birthday, Svatech was not his dominant best against the 28-year-old 11th-seeded Pegula of New York, whose parents own the NFL’s Buffalo Bill and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabers.
“It’s getting old, but it’s still fresh,” Swatech wrote with a silver marker on the lens of the Courtside TV camera.
He was more satisfied with himself than his fourth-round win, where he dropped a set for the first time in more than a month and felt “a kind of cold shower.”
“It really helped me in the last match, reminding me of what I need to do to make my tennis more efficient,” said Swatech.
As usual for most of this season, Sweetech was good enough to finish right on the scoreline. He has not lost a match since February and has claimed the title in each of his last five tournaments.
Swiatek, the No. 1 woman in the WTA rankings, climbed to the top of the WTA rankings in March after retiring at the age of 25. Instead of being derailed by a sudden change of status, Swiatek has improved, leading 16-0 since rising to No. 2.
On a sunny afternoon at Court Philippe Chatriar, with temperatures well above 20 degrees, this was the start of Sweetech for the second match in a row, although he ended up with a 30 to 16, almost twice as many as Pegular.
“I think the ball is flying a little faster,” said Suatek, “so I definitely had to adapt to it.”
He was 3-2 behind in the opening set and it was 3-all when he held a break point while serving Pegula.
Pegula tried a drop shot, and Swayatec ran, reaching the ball at an impossible angle to flip over the net. Pegula didn’t get that response, and the point went to Swatech, giving him a 4-3 edge.
As Pegula headed to the sidelines for the next change, he looked at his coach, David Witt, who was on the stand, probably wondering if Swatech’s shot should have been counted.
A TV replay confirmed that this should not have happened: the ball landed a second time in front of his net before leaving his racket, so chair umpire Emanuel Joseph should have made the point to Pegular. But Joseph misses the extra bounce and, unlike some other tournaments, French Open officials cannot consult the video to make sure a call is correct.
From there, Swiatek will not drop another game until they have led one set and are 1-0 per second. In all, he has taken 10 of the last 12 games.
When a reporter mentioned that double bounce, Suatek smiled, as if expecting a question about that point.
“If it’s two bounces, I’m sorry,” he said. “But at the time I was just so focused on getting to the ball and winning points that I think I went ahead. These moments are pretty complicated, because it depends on the umpire.”
Pegula said Suatek was surprised to get the ball so fast.
“I was right, like Jesus, is he fast? For example, I hit that perfectly.” He said in the post-match press conference.
“I looked at the chair and he was, you know, he didn’t call it. You can’t say anything. And the problem is that once they make their decision you can’t go back and change it.”
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