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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday February 22, 2024

Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek continued her dominant form in Dubai, reaching the semifinals with a straight sets victory over Zheng Qinwen.

Photo Source: Getty

Iga Swiatek is catching fire in the Middle East once again. The 22-year-old World No.1 stretched her winning streak to seven on Thursday in Dubai, dispatching seventh-ranked Zheng Qinwen, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the semifinals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Tennis Express

By doing so, Swiatek stretched her run of victories against the Top-20 to 14 victories and improved to 5-0 lifetime against Zheng.

Swiatek will face Anna Kalinskaya, who upended Coco Gauff 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in Thursday's last quarterfinal in Dubai.

“We always have tight matches,” Swiatek said of facing Zheng, who reached the final at this year’s Australian Open. “It’s always intense and hard, I’m proud of myself that I was really focused today and I just kept pushing.”

She has dropped 18 games through three rounds in Dubai, winning over Sloane Stephens (6-4, 6-4), Elina Svitolina (6-1, 6-4) and Zheng, and will face either Coco Gauff or Anna Kalinskaya for a spot in the final on Friday.

“For sure every day I’m feeling more comfortable here,” Swiatek said. “I already played plenty of matches on this court, so I feel like I’m home and I can just focus on playing.”

Swiatek improves to 8-3 lifetime in Dubai and stretches her current winning streak to seven. She lost to Barbora Krejcikova in last year’s final.

Swiatek didn’t drop serve and saved all three break points she faced against the 21-year-old. She converted three of five break points and has now won all 14 sets she has played since her loss to Linda Noskova in the third round at this year’s Australian Open, her lone blemish in a season that has seen her win 14 of 15 matches thus far.

Kalinskaya and Swiatek have never met at tour-level in singles before. 

Gauff Falls to Kalinskaya

25-year-old Kalinskaya, who had a breakthrough at this year's Australian Open, where she reached the quarterfinals, has come from qualifying this week and earned wins over ninth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko and third-seeded Gauff in her last two matches.

The Russian entered the season with a 2-6 record against the Top 10, but has gone 3-0 vs the Top 10 in 2024. She rallied from set down and fought through an apparent injury to top the teenager in two hours and 18 minutes.

It looked like she might retire from the match after seeking a medical timeout at the conclusion of the first set, but she instead flipped the script on the 2023 US Open champion, breaking five times across the final two sets, and saving all four break points she faced in the decider as she ran away from the 19-year-old down the stretch.

"I'm supper happy about my game here," she said. "I'm happy I'm having so many matches and playing in this incredible Venue. [Coco] is a great player and a great fighter - I could feel the tension until the last point, and it was very important from my side to stay focused and calm, and to do my best to stay aggressive."


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