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Igo Sviatek defeated Bianca Andreescu and reached the semifinals of the Italian Open | Tennis

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Six years ago, Igo Sviatek arrived on the grounds of Budapest for the Federation Cup among juniors and in his first match watched the Canadian rival Bianca Andreescu. As she won three tough sets, it would be one of the formative results of the Holidays junior career, a victory that imbued her with the belief that she could fight players from great and famous tennis nations. She ended the week, leading Poland to the title.

Since then, both players have come a long way, and in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open they crossed paths for the second time in singles, now as Grand Slam champions watching each other from afar with great mutual respect. This match may one day become the defining rivalry of the era, but so far it is time for the Feast. After a serious starting set, Sviatek effectively separated, achieving an incredible 26th victory in a row, defeating Andreescu 7-6 (2), 6-0.

“I feel that I play better and better in every match,” said Sviatek. “Even though the first set was pretty intense, I had ups and downs, I feel like I can play well in important moments and fight back at any time.”

The first set was tense, filled with high-octane exchanges as both players tried to stifle the second inning, trying to control the main line. From the very beginning, Sviatek challenged Andreescu to keep up with her intensity, athleticism and hitting the ball. She established the lead with a score of 5-3 thanks to her superb movement, her backhand beating the winners on the line and scraping all the short balls.

Although Andreescu was still adjusting to such intensity so soon after returning, Andreescu was slowly entering the match and she struggled desperately. She played her clearest spell in attacking tennis with her back to the wall, smashing the Saint while serving in the set and then holding the break point at 5-5.

But Sviatek’s confidence is stratospheric, and she was present at all the important moments, stopping Andreescu’s momentum and then playing a flawless tie-break. As in many of his recent matches, Svetek opened his shoulders and relaxed in the second set, the match quickly disappeared, like many of the 25 previous ones.

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With 26 wins in a row, this incredible series moves Sviatek to the level of Victoria Azarenka’s 2012 winning streak, and in the 21st century only the three greatest players of that period have won more: Venus Williams (35), Serena Williams (34) and Justin Henin (32). Svyatek has also won 40 of the last 41 sets, and this year alone she has inflicted 13 waffle sets (6-0) on her opponents.

“It took me a while to learn how to do it right, how to use a series or a rating to put pressure on my opponents,” said Sviatek, who plays the next Arina Sobolenko. “I feel like I did it pretty well last season and this season early, just learning to use it in a positive way. Last year, when I had the best rankings, I felt like it was something pressing on me. This time everything is different. “

Although Andreescu failed to keep up, it was another extremely positive week as she regained her level and rating after a six-month mental health dismissal. She put herself in a good position for a deep run in Paris with the right draw, and the anticipation of the next meeting between herself and the Feast only increased.

In the men’s draw, Stefanas Tsitsipas defeated Yanik Siner 7-6 (5), 6-2 to set up another meeting with his avid rival Alexander Zverev, their third straight Masters 1000 semifinal match this season.

“For me, I respect him,” said Tsitsipas. “I don’t know if I showed it or not, but I respect what he has achieved in the sport. Every time I go to play with him, I really want to highlight the best of the game and really show what I am capable of in terms of my tennis, fixing difficult situations.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/may/13/iga-swiatek-beats-bianca-andreescu-to-reach-italian-open-semi-finals

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