Swiatek tops Gauff in straight sets in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO — Top-ranked Iga Swiatek cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 victory over sixth-seeded Coco Gauff on Friday night in the quarterfinal round at the WTA 500 San Diego Open.

Gauff had a double fault on the opening point and the outcome was seemingly never in doubt as Swiatek took control with her relentless, sharp-angled offensive attack in a rematch of this year’s French Open singles final, won by the 21-year-old from Poland, 6-1, 6-3.

“I just kept my focus and I’m happy that I stayed composed tonight,” Swiatek said. “It was one of those matches where I felt in control from the first point.”

Played in mild, overcast conditions, the 65-minute contest was Swiatek’s fourth straight win without a loss over the 18-year-old Gauff.

The smooth-hitting, deceptively powerful Swiatek, winner of this year’s US Open and French Open, next faces fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula in one of Saturday’s semifinals. Earlier Thursday, Pegula, a 27-year-old from Buffalo, beat unseeded Madison Keys, 6-4, 7-5 in an all-American matchup. In the other semifinal, Donna Vekic of Croatia, who beat third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1, takes on American Danielle Collins, who eliminated second-seeded Paula Badosa of Spain 7-6 (5), 6-4.

“We always play great, physical matches, so I’m looking forward to playing Jessica,” said Swiatek, who admitted to lingering jet lag since flying from the Czech Republic to San Diego last Sunday.

“I’m waiting to see the sun here, because I’m still not very tan,” said Swiatek, who lost a three-set final to Barbora Krejcikova in Ostrava last weekend.

Against Gauff, the crowd favorite despite a small group of fans dressed in Polish regalia, Swiatek captured the first eight games, breaking Gauff four straight times before the American won her first game, holding serve at 2-1.

Swiatek’s dominance included nearly error-free groundstrokes that forced Gauff into a total of 26 unforced errors.

“I’ve lost to her so many times, and I just didn’t have it today,” Gauff said. “Each time I play her, I learn a lot, like that I overplayed on certain shots which caused me to make more errors.”

The $757,900 WTA 500 San Diego Open continues through Sunday at San Diego’s Barnes Tennis Center.

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