By Shrivathsa Sridhar
PARIS (Reuters) – Holder Iga Swiatek was tested by American sixth seed Coco Gauff in a rematch of their 2022 French Open title clash but the world number one showed her class to secure a 6-4 6-2 victory and reach the semi-finals on Wednesday.
The top seed will take on Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia in the last four as she continues her bid for a third crown in four years at Roland Garros and her fourth Grand Slam title overall.
Swiatek has adopted a more ruthless approach to her title defence dishing out four bagels in as many rounds but the Pole found the going tougher against a determined Gauff in the see-sawing opening set on Court Philippe Chatrier.
After drawing first blood, she allowed Gauff to hit back and level up at 3-3 by crashing a volley into the net before getting back on track to take the advantage in the clash with a superb crosscourt winner.
The relieved 22-year-old pumped her fist and let out a big scream after that decisive point.
Swiatek took a tumble at the net after nearly being struck by a Gauff rocket before producing a tight hold for a 2-1 lead in the next set and dusted herself off to grab another break with a perfectly placed lob.
She settled the contest by pouncing on Gauff’s serve again and finished when the 19-year-old found the net.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Paris)
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