With a 6-1, 6-0 victory over No.25 seed Madison Keys of the United States in the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals on Thursday, third seed Iga Swiatek of Poland won her ninth consecutive match — all at WTA 1000 events. The Polish player advanced to the semifinals against 2015 BNP Paribas Open champion Simona Halep after a 56-minute victory over Keys. In the tournament’s first quarterfinal, Halep defeated Petra Martic 6-1, 6-1.
Swiatek’s straight-set victory over Keys is a change of pace for her this fortnight, as she had to come back from a set down in each of her previous three matches in Indian Wells. Swiatek, on the other hand, was adamant from the start against Keys, improving to a 2-0 win/loss record against the American (4-0 in sets).
“I felt really comfortable,” Swiatek said. “I’m also trying to get some fun as well from matches which are tight. Before where I felt stressed, I couldn’t really make that fun. But right now I’m more focused on finding solutions and I want every match to be a lesson for me.”
“I think Ash Barty has this kind of mindset. When she feels like the match is really tight, she treats it like a great experience because she can find solutions, actually be focused on that. It’s a great challenge for her. I’m also trying to find fun when I’m playing, when the score is pretty tight,” she added.
Simona Halep of Romania opened the 2022 BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals with a bang, defeating Petra Martic of Croatia 6-1, 6-1 to advance to the semi-finals. She will face Swiatek, a woman she has met before on the court.
Halep and Swiatek have previously met three times, all at Grand Slam tournaments. Halep defeated Swiatek at Roland Garros in 2019, but Swiatek avenged the loss the following year. Halep went on to win the Australian Open in three sets last year.
“I think probably [that was my] best match of this year,” Halep said, in her post-match press conference. “I felt super well. I felt confident. I’ve been aggressive. Everything I had to do I did, and it was pretty good.”
“Tough, tough match [against Swiatek next] because she’s playing the best tennis of her life. She’s in the best moment. I expect a really tough one. But I’m here in the semifinal, so I will take that. I will just try my best next one,” she added.