Iga Swiatek survives Jule Niemeier scare at US Open: ‘I’m just proud that I didn’t lose hope’

Iga Swiatek in action

World No 1 Iga Swiatek survived a scare to defeat Jule Niemeier and reach the quarter-finals of the US Open for the first time.

The Pole trailed by a set and a break to German Niemeier, who showed her potential by reaching the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in just her second main draw appearance at a Grand Slam.

Swiatek, the first Pole to reach the last eight at Flushing Meadows, has not been in great form since her 37-match unbeaten run was ended by Alize Cornet at Wimbledon, and she made plenty of errors again here.

But the top seed fought hard to gain the ascendancy in the second set and dominated the third to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-0.

After world No 108 Niemeier broke twice in the first set, the second set was a humdinger seven breaks of serve with the Pole edging it 4-3.

It was one-way traffic in the decider as the 23-year-old ran out of steam.

Swiatek said: “I’m just proud that I didn’t lose hope because she was playing really good in the first set. I’m pretty glad that I used my experience to keep the same kind of level throughout the whole match.”

In the quarter-finals Swiatek will face American Jessica Pegula, who is through to the last eight at a Slam for the third time this season following a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Petra Kvitova.

Pegula is part of a famous American sporting family, with her parents Terry and Kim Pegula the owners of NFL team the Buffalo Bills and NHL team the Buffalo Sabres.

The world No 8, who is hoping to reach the semi-final of a major for the first time, broke three times in the first set and three times in the second set although two-time Grand Slam champion Kvitova managed one break in both sets.

She is enjoying the extra support that brings, saying: “It’s definitely different playing overseas, I feel people don’t make the connection as often as they do here.

“There is a lot of people from Buffalo that are kind of all over the place, you always find somebody that’s a Bills and Sabres fan.

“And to me I think I have more embraced it and find it fun and cool that these people, because there’s not a lot of tennis in Buffalo, know nothing about tennis but they will come and watch the match in Cincinnati or here or wherever, just because they are a fan of the teams.”