Other SportsTennis


Iga Swiatek held her nerve to overcome Liudmila Samsonova 6-7(4) 6-4 7-5 in the semi-final of the Stuttgart Open. Swiatek will face Aryna Sabalenka in the final after the world No. 4 beat Paula Badosa 7-6 6-4 in the earlier semi-final. Stream the 2022 French Open live and on-demand on discovery.

Iga Swiatek beat Liudmila Samsonova 6-7(4) 6-4 7-5 to progress to the final of the Stuttgart Open.

She will face big-hitting Aryna Sabalenka in the showpiece after the world No. 4 beat Paula Badosa 7-6 6-4 in the earlier last-four encounter.

The Polish world No. 1 raced into a three-game lead on the back of some astonishing – but at the same time expected – powerful baseline hitting.

However, Samsonova – a big-hitter herself – maintained her composure, did not overplay and won three games in a row to bring the set back to parity at 4-4. The eighth game epitomised a showing of composure, poise and shot-creation that underpinned her fightback as she came back from 0-40 down and defended four break points.

World No. 31 Samsonova had wrestled the initiative from Swiatek but let the Polish star off the hook somewhat in the 11th game of the set, failing to convert a break opportunity after a couple of loose shots from the No. 1 seed. The rest of the set would go with serve, meaning it would be settled by a tie-break.

Clean ball-striking saw Samsonova establish control of the tie-break, and the 23-year-old would become the first player to win a set against Swiatek since Angelique Kerber at the last-16 stage of Indian Wells – in doing so, she brought a run of 28 sets won in a row to an end for the world No. 1.

The second set became an even more physical endeavour, with the first eight games going with serve. However, Swiatek was working her opponent hard, forcing Samsonova to play roughly double the amount of points on her first serve. And that pressure would pay in the ninth game of the set when Switaek secured the break before serving it out to love to send the match to a decider.

The level of both players dropped considerably in the third set, and four early breaks of serve – two apiece – saw the match head to the finishing line on serve.
Swiatek was the beneficiary of a remarkable stroke of luck in the ninth when a net cord fell her way at 15-40 down, but after a slew of deuces, Samsonova’s brave shot-making saw her win the game and put her within one game of a first final of the season.

However, Swiatek would hold to 15 and then break her opponent before serving it out to move into a fourth successive final as she targets a fourth successive title following wins in Miami, Indian Wells and Qatar.

Swiatek has now won 22 matches in a row as preparations ramp up for the French Open, which begins on May 22. The current longest winning streak in the women’s game is held by Martina Navratilova, who secured 74 wins on the bounce in 1984.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button