Iga Swiatek’s streak goes on as she marches into last four in Rome

Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek secured passage to the last four at the Italian Open and stretched her WTA Tour winning streak to 26 matches.

Swiatek claimed a 7-6(2), 6-0 victory against Bianca Andreescu in 1 hour and 44 minutes to set up a semi-final against Aryna Sabalenka.

The Pole was delighted to join an elite group of players with her winning streak now the joint-fifth longest this century.

Only Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Justine Henin own longer WTA winning streaks since 2000.

“Being in that kind of group is like a dream come true for me,” she said afterwards. “I wouldn’t think of that when I was younger. I’m pretty happy that I could do that because consistency was the thing I really wanted to work on last year. This year I feel like it clicked.”

Swiatek has been in imperious form in 2022 winning 38 of her last 39 sets dating back to the fourth round at Indian Wells.

During this period, Swiatek’s only dropped set came to Liudmila Samsonova in the Stuttgart semi-finals.

Her win over Andreescu means she has now won 12 of her 13 tour-level quarter-finals.

Swiatek was uncertain how Andreescu would play having never faced her at senior level, and admitting she hadn’t watched her play much since the Canadian’s return to action.

“I wasn’t really expecting anything because I didn’t actually know how she’s playing after the break. I watched many of her matches before she did that break. Right now I didn’t know if her tennis is the same or it changed a little bit.

“But I knew that physically I can play longer rallies and also play longer matches. So basically I was ready for that. Also, I knew that she’s going to change rhythm. She did that, which was pretty tricky. Just knowing that, I was just ready for it. Tactically I knew it about it, so I’m pretty happy that we prepared well.”

Meanwhile, Aryna Sabalenka overcame bogey player Amanda Anisimova for the first time in five meetings.

Sabalenka had lost twice to Anisimova already this season, with both meetings coming during the clay swing, to go with 2019 losses at the Australian Open and Roland Garros.

She had to dig deep to get her first win over the American claiming a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Sabalenka had not reached the semi-finals at a WTA 1000 level or higher since her run to the 2021 US Open last four.

Swiatek leads the head to head series 2-1 having won their last meeting in the final at Stuttgart.