Swiatek shuts down Vika in dominant win

WORLD number one Iga Swiatek showed little mercy for fellow Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka as the top seeded Pole stormed into the 2024 Qatar Open semi-finals overnight. Swiatek won 6-4 6-0 in just 75 minutes, winning the last nine games of the match.

The turning point came in the seventh game where Azarenka lead 4-3 on serve, and had a break point to go a game away from serving out the opening set. Unfortunately for the Belarusian, Swiatek saved that, held, and then broke herself before serving for the set. She would not lose another game for the match and broke her opponent five times from six break point opportunities.

Producing a superb 78 per cent success rate off her first serve, Swiatek also won 53 per cent of her points off her second serve, compared to her older opponent’s 50 and 38 per cent respectively. Azarenka was efficient in getting her serves and groundstokes into play, but could not pass the world number one easily.

In the end, Swiatek hit 17 winners to Azarenka’s five in the contest, with neither player serving an ace. The Pole said she wanted to seize control of the points and though she took more risks, they ended up paying off handsomely.

“I felt like I started a little bit playing too aggressively maybe, but then I found my rhythm and the proper way to play,” Swiatek said post-match. “I kept it till the end of the match. I’m happy that I could analyze during the match and then take a lesson from that.”

Swiatek now takes on Czech Karolina Pliskova who survived a determined Naomi Osaka across two tiebreakers. Pliskova won 7-6 7-6 with her tiebreak victories only being 8-6 and 7-5 meaning they went down to the wire and the world number 59 further extended her head-to-head against Osaka to 5-2, including two wins this year.

Third seed Elena Rybakina continued to roll on with a comprehensive 6-4 6-2 triumph of Leylah Fernandez. The Grand Slam champion served six aces and won 79 per cent of her first serve points to get up in an hour and 34 minutes. Fernandez battled hard through the first set, but Rybakina’s five break points converted to the Canadian’s two in the match was the difference.

Rybakina sets her sights on Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after the former Roland Garros finalist took care of former Australian Open finalist and qualifier, Danielle Collins. The unseeded Russian won 7-5 6-4 over the American, as she was successful on 73 per cent of her first serve points, and broke Collins four times to two in order to grab a break gap in each set.


[1] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6-4 6-0
[3] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-4 6-2
Karolina Pliskova (CZE) defeated Naomi Osaka (JPN) 7-6 7-6
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated [Q] Danielle Collins (USA) 7-5 6-4

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