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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday January 25, 2022

 
Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek rallies fron a set down for the second consecutive match, defeating Kaia Kanepi to reach the semis at Melbourne.

Faced with a hard-hitting opponent who was playing with confidence and jaw-dropping pace, Iga Swiatek needed time to properly problem solve her way to victory on Tuesday at the Australian Open.

But the 20-year-old, playing in just her 12th Grand Slam main draw, found a way and advanced with a hard-fought 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 victory over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi to book her first Australian Open semifinal appearance.

Tennis Express

The pole, who has rallied from a set down in her last two matches at Melbourne (6-6 lifetime at Slams when training by a set) needed three hours and one minute to finally stop the surprise run of the 115th-ranked Estonian in a match that featured a total of 29 break point opportunities and about as many momentum shifts.

"For sure I'm pretty proud of myself, especially after matches like that, because, you know, coming back from losing first set it's a new thing for me," Swiatek said after her win.

In a back and forth opener, Kanepi broke for 4-3 in the opening set and would later serve out the set in a hotly contested four-deuce game to take the lead, 6-4.

The Estonian threatened to take the victory in straight sets when she rallied back from 4-1 down in the second set against a very frustrated Swiatek, and eventually forced a tiebreak. But Swiatek kept her cool and played some of her best tennis in the breaker, reeling of the final four points to draw level.


It felt like Swiatek, the No.7 seed, might run away with things early in the third, but Kanepi showed staying power as she rallied back from 2-0 down to level at 2-all. But she would soon find herself falling behind again and this time Kanepi didn’t have the energy to match strokes with Swiatek, as the Pole pushed aggressively down the stretch and to take three of the final four games, playing an incredible defensive point on match point with Kanepi serving to clinch the victory.

Swiatek improves to 35-10 lifetime at the majors and 12-3 at the Australian Open. She will face American Danielle Collins, who moved past Alizé Cornet on Day 10, in the semifinals on Thursday in Melbourne.

She said she was most proud of the fact that she has been able to problem solve her way to victory in Australia.

"It's pretty new for me," she said. "Right now I'm more, I have more belief even when I don't start the match well. But, yeah, so basically I'm proud of myself that I can, I'm still able to, like, find solutions and actually think more on court on what to change, you know, because before it wasn't that clear for me, you know. So I feel like it's part of the work that we have been doing with Daria to control my emotions and just maybe actually focus on finding solutions."

The top-half semifinal will feature top-seeded Ash Barty an unseeded American Madison Keys.

 

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