Iga Swiatek keeps rolling as she blasts into San Diego final

James Richardson
Iga Swiatek celebrates

World No 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland produced a stunning rally after a rain delay to defeat sixth-ranked American Jessica Pegula on Saturday and reach the WTA San Diego Open final.

Swiatek, seeking her eighth title of the year, advanced to her ninth WTA final of the season after staging a fightback to defeat Pegula 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 over the course of a gruelling two hours and six minutes.

The three-time Grand Slam champion will have to wait until Sunday to find out her opponent in the championship match though, due to the weather.

Heavy rain forced the suspension of the second semi-final when 19th-ranked American Danielle Collins, this year’s Australian Open runner-up, was leading Croatia’s 77th-ranked Donna Vekic 4-6, 6-4, 4-2, after two hours and 29 minutes.

In a rematch of this year’s French and US Open quarter-finals, Swiatek dropped the first set just before a lengthy rain delay that allowed the 21-year-old Polish star to regroup.

“I came back and I wanted to be really composed and not lose in those important moments,” Swiatek said.

Swiatek had raced ahead 3-0 and broke again on a forehand winner in the eighth game to force a third set, which she also dominated, taking the victory with a break when Pegula netted a forehand.

Pegula may have lost but her run in San Diego has ensured that she will make a debut appearance at the WTA Tour Finals in Fort Worth.

Winner of a WTA-best 63 matches this year, Swiatek improved to 4-1 all-time against Pegula, having lost their first meeting in 2019 at Washington but wining this year at Miami and in the US and French Open quarter-finals.

Swiatek, a runner-up last week at Ostrava, seeks her 11th career WTA title. Her titles this year include Qatar, Indian Wells, Miami, Rome, Stuttgart and the US and French Opens.

The Pole has also already qualified for the season-ending event and will be able to put her feet up next week while most of the rest of the top ten will be out to get their business done.

Collins has been in decent form in recent weeks, but she won her only WTA titles last year at Palermo and Silicon Valley.

Vekic also hasn’t picked up any titles this season, having won her third career WTA title last October at Courmayeur in a championship match that was her most recent tour final.

READ MORE: Incredible WTA Tour finals race comes down to Guadalajara