Top-seeded Iga Swiatek proved to be a quick learner as she ousted Marketa Vondrousova 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 in a battle of Grand Slam champions at the ATP/WTA Cincinnati Open. Swiatek, the reigning US Open and French Open champion, said she applied the lessons from her first-set struggles in the second to sweep past Wimbledon winner Vondrousova. She had lost serve twice in the opening set as she struggled with Vondrousova’s lefty game, but broke as the Czech served for the set and eventually won the tiebreaker. Swiatek dominated the second set to claim the victory in 93 minutes. “It’s not easy to adjust to her spin,” Swiatek said. “After the first set, I was determined to fight for every ball.
“I was more focused and I knew what worked,” she added. “I learned from the first set. I knew exactly how I should play.”
The Polish star will play for a place in the final against seventh-seeded American Coco Gauff — who tossed a racquet in anger on the way to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Italian qualifier Jasmine Paolini.
“Usually they say don’t throw your racquet but I won six games in a row,” Gauff said. “What can you do? At least no one got hurt.”
Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka beat Ons Jabeur 7-5, 6-3 in 85 minutes.
Sabalenka had nine aces and broke Jabeur nine times as the Tunisian struggled with a foot injury in the second set.
Sabalenka lined up a French Open semi-final rematch against Czech Karolina Muchova, who advanced to the final four as compatriot Marie Bouzkova retired injured after losing all three games they played.
Australian Open champion Sabalenka will be out to turn the tables on Muchova, who saved a match point on the way to her upset win over the world number two in the semis at Roland Garros.
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