Photo : Martin Sidorjak
Beating Iga Świątek has been mission impossible for most women on the WTA Tour in 2022.
Bianca Andreescu did better than most against the world No. 1 in their quarter-final clash at the Italian Open on Friday, but she became Świątek’s 26th victim in a row as the Canadian fell in straight sets.
Andreescu threw everything at the world No. 1 in the quarter-final clash, matching her relentless hitting shot-for-shot in the first set. But once Świątek wrestled control away, there was no stopping her as the Pole advanced to the semis with a 7-6(2), 6-0 victory.
Świątek was ruthless when it came to taking her opportunities, converting all six of her break points on the Andreescu serve. The top seed ripped 27 winners, more than double her opponent who only managed 12. Andreescu on won 46 percent of her total service points, although she was able to convert three of five break points on her opponent’s serve.
While both women went on runs in the opening set, neither was able to maintain the momentum. Świątek opened the match by breaking serve in the Canadian’s first service game for a 2-0, only for Andreescu to respond with three games in a row to go up a break at 3-2.
The world number one then responded with a three-game run of her own and served for the set at 5-3, but Andreescu managed to fight back and levelled the set at 5-all. When Świątek held serve for 6-5, saving a break point in the process, it was the first time in the match that the two women held serve back-to-back.
In the tiebreak, an umpire overrule gave the Pole an early minibreak at 2-1. Świątek pulled away with the breaker when Andreescu missed a forehand at 2-4, eventually taking the tiebreak 7-2.
Once she had the first set in the bag, Świątek upped her level and Andreescu could not keep up. The Pole won 27 of 36 points in the second set, breaking serve three times as she cruised over the finish line.
Andreescu did not have a game or break point in the second set.
Despite the loss, the quarter-final appearance in Rome is Andreescu’s best result so far in 2022 and was her first quarter-final since Strasbourg a year ago. Next up for the former US Open champion will be Roland Garros, where she has a 1-1 record (with one walkover granted).