World No. 1 Iga Swiatek comes from behind to defeat Jule Niemeier, advancing to US Open quarterfinals for the first time
World No. 1 Iga Swiatek came to the plate, no one knew who she was — but when she started swinging the bat, the tennis world was captivated.
Swiatek finished the match, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, to advance to the quarterfinals of the US Open for the 17th time, and won the final match in her seventh career US Open quarterfinal.
She was a little surprised, however, by how her game was affected by a right knee injury that’s sidelined her for the past six months.
“I was sitting there and I thought this is cool, but I didn’t fully comprehend the magnitude of it,” Swiatek, 26, said. “I wasn’t sure how far it is yet. I knew it wasn’t long, but I didn’t know how far I am.”
Iga Swiatek is in the quarterfinals of the US Open with a 7-2, 6-3 win over world No. 39 Jule Niemeier. David Cannon AFP/Getty Images
It wasn’t far.
Despite getting set up for a forehand on her serve by Niemeier’s first serve and taking full advantage as she worked her way to break points, Swiatek was far from certain she was going to make it.
She lost her second serve in the first game. She served to 30-0, but Niemeier’s backhand error on the set point took away another game.
But she got her revenge: she knocked out No. 11 Karen Khachanov in straight sets, 6-3, 6-5 in the second, and the momentum shifted once again.
The tide turned against Swiatek on Monday, when she broke Niemeier in the first game of Sunday’s third set and then pulled away in the second with break points.
Swiatek made them, but again she couldn’t hold on until serving at 3-all.
As with any new champion, this one has new challenges ahead.
Swiatek, in her seventh career US Open quarterfinal, said there are two things she loves about playing in the quarterfinals: the match against No. 39 Niemeier and the