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By Alberto Amalfi | Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Iga Swiatek rallied from a 1-4 deficit defusing qualifier Mai Hontama 6-4, 7-5 to reach her 13th quarterfinal of the season in Tokyo.

Photo credit: Omnium Banque Nationale Facebook

It was Iga Swiatek's comeback match, but Mai Hontama didn't roll out a red carpet welcome.

In her first match since losing her world No. 1 ranking, Swiatek rallied from a 1-4 deficit defusing Japanese qualifier Hontama 6-4, 7-5 at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

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The four-time Grand Slam champion converted seven of 17 break point chances in a two hour, two-minute triumph.

It was a match of extreme streaks.

After Swiatek rallied from 1-4 down to take the first set, she built a 5-1 lead in the second only to see the qualifier comeback to level.

Swiatek won eight of the last 11 points to secure a spot in her 13th quarterfinal of the season.

"Winning five games in a row in the first set really showed me that I could play my game," Swiatek said. "It wasn’t easy, but I’m happy that I problem-solved and just got through the match."

The top-seeded Swiatek will face Veronika Kudermetova for a semifinal spot.

The No. 8-seeded Kudermetova was a 6-3, 6-3 victor over American Kayla Day.

World No. 19 Kudermetova has yet to take a set off Swiatek in four prior meetings. Swiatek swept Kudermetova 6-0, 6-1 in the Doha semifinals earlier this season. 


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