Aryna Sabalenka’s Beijing journey ended at Elena Rybakina’s hands; Liudmila Samsonova triumphed
Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff will have their ninth career meeting on the WTA tour on Saturday in the semi-finals of the China Open. On Friday, both the second seed and third seed made their way past tricky opponents in their respective quarter-finals.
Swiatek was the first of the two to win her match. Caroline Garcia, her opponent, jostled her for a bit before the Pole asserted her way through the match. Swiatek did need two hours and 35 minutes to clinch a 6-7(8), 7-6(5), 6-1 victory.
The Frenchwoman came up with 16 aces for the match which made up for a significant portion of the total winners she hit for the match (46). In comparison, Swiatek had just 30 winners. Nonetheless, Swiatek was able to outplay Garcia, especially in the deciding set, when the latter’s rhythm became more inconsistent.
In that set, the higher-ranked player finished by winning 83% of her first-serve points and 50% of her second-serve points. She also won six of seven points played on return on her ninth-seeded opponent’s second serve.
For the match, Swiatek won 17 more points than Garcia’s 96.
China Open: Coco Gauff’s indefatigable
Gauff faced no such problems when tackling the game of Maria Sakkari. The American needed merely 78 minutes to script a 6-2, 6-4 win.
She didn’t face any break points but made good of three break points to move along in the tournament. Against Swiatek, Gauff will be hoping to replicate the result she’d had at the Western & Southern Open, in Cincinnati, where she won against the then no.
1 player in the world. However, despite that win, Swiatek still dominates the win-to-loss record against Gauff, seven-to-one. Meanwhile, in the top half, Liudmila Samsonova completed a rather straightforward match against 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko.
The 24-year-old routed the Latvian 6-2, 6-3 after just 66 minutes of play. Looking to reach the finals of a WTA 1000 tournament for the second time in her career – and also this year – at the China Open, Samsonova will take on Elena Rybakina next.
The fifth seed who was in dire straits against Mirra Andreeva in their pre-quarters’ face-off, scripted the exit of top seed and the highest-ranked player, Aryna Sabalenka. Rybakina won their last-eight match 7-5, 6-2.