Iga Swiatek progressed to her fourth WTA 1000 semi-final on Wednesday at the Miami Open, defeating Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3.

After taking out tournaments in Doha and Indian Wells this year, the 20-year-old's undefeated streak now moves to 15 in a row.

Kvitova largely stayed in points in the opening exchanges and held a higher first-serve rate than Swiatek, but indicative of the form the Polish star is currently in, she played with clarity and did not hesitate when opportunities presented.

Along with winning six of eight points on Kvitova's second serve in the first set, the soon-to-be world number one converted on her sole chance at break point, claiming the crucial break in the sixth game before closing the opening set out.

After a tough service hold in the fourth game and four initial chances at break point in the second set, Swiatek made it count on her fifth attempt, spectacularly managing to move the 28th seed around the court and turn defence into attack.

Seeing the finish line, the Polish second seed grew increasingly assertive in both serve and shot selection to both secure the break and see out the match, even claiming a second break for a punctuation mark.

Swiatek will face Jessica Pegula, who is also through to the semi-finals after Paula Badosa retired from their matchup due to a viral illness.

Pegula was leading 4-1 after only 18 minutes of play when Badosa retired, having won four straight games after initially dropping her serve.

The 28-year-old has now won her last two matches in Miami via retirement after she advanced past Anhelina Kalinina in the fourth round, winning the first set 6-0.

If Pegula defeats Swiatek in the semi-final, it would make for her maiden WTA 1000 final appearance.

World number two Iga Swiatek showed why she is next in line to occupy the top ranking as she comfortably handled the challenge of 14 seed Cori Gauff 6-3 6-1 to earn a spot in the quarter-finals at the Miami Open.

Swiatek, 20, will become the first Polish-born man or woman to earn the number one singles ranking when it is next updated on April 4, after Ash Barty's retirement, and she never gave Gauff a chance.

She won all eight of her service games in the match, and broke Gauff's serve four times in eight chances to rattle off five consecutive games to close the match.

After a walkover in her last fixture, Naomi Osaka was strong on her way to a 6-3 6-4 win against Alison Riske.

Both women produced break points throughout the match, but while Osaka saved seven out of eight, coming back to double-break after her slip-up in the second set, Riske could only save nine of 12.

In a clash between top-10 seeds, Danielle Collins was terrific in her 6-2 6-4 win against Ons Jabeur.

The match was decided by each woman's success on their second serve, as Jabeur had the better first serve, but could only win 31 per cent of her second serves (8-26), while Collins was an even 73 per cent on both her first and second attempts.

Daria Saville continued her march back up the rankings with a 5-7 6-4 7-5 win against Lucia Bronzetti, making it nine wins from her past 10 matches for the Australian ranked 249 in the world after recently returning from a long-term achilles injury.

Saville will play Switzerland's Belinda Bencic after she breezed past Belarus' Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-3, while Petra Kvitova got the better of higher-ranked Veronika Kudermetova 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

American Jessica Pegula was nearly flawless on her way to a 6-0 first set before Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina retired due to injury, while world number six Paula Badosa beat wildcard Linda Fruhvirtova 6-2 6-3.

 

Iga Swiatek was in a ruthless mood as she coasted into the last 16 of the Miami Open, setting up an intriguing clash with Coco Gauff.

Swiatek was in action for the first time since ensuring she will be top of the pile after the next WTA rankings update, and she certainly showed world-number-one form against Madison Brengle in a 6-0 6-3 victory.

The 20-year-old Pole needed just 25 minutes to win the opening set, during which she hit 12 winners to Brengle's one.

Brengle gave a better account of herself in the second set but Swiatek still had far too much for her, with the latter remaining on course to become only the fourth woman to win the so-called 'Sunshine Double' of Indian Wells and the Miami Open.

But certain expectations – particularly those relating to her ranking – are not what Swiatek wants to think about at the moment, especially while she is so content out on the court.

She said: "I know the ranking can be pressure, but on the other hand when I was climbing up and I entered top 10 and top five, I felt the same feeling, and right now I don't want to repeat that. So I just focus on my game.

"I don't know what's going to happen after the tournament and the adrenaline will go down and I have more time to stress about that a little bit more, but for now I feel great. It's not like it's bothering me, it's more motivating me. So it's great."

Gauff, competing in her local tournament, awaits after showing admirable spirit to beat Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7-1) 7-5.

The 18-year-old had to save two set points in the opener before rallying back and producing a devastating display in the tiebreaker.

She then came back from 4-2 down in the second, winning five of the final six games to seal a hard-fought victory.

Another teenager hoping to leave a lasting impression is 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova, who became the youngest player to reach the fourth round in Miami since Maria Sharapova and Tatiana Golovin in 2004 – both were also 16.

Fruhvirtova was 6-2 3-0 up over Victoria Azarenka before the three-time Miami Open winner retired, giving the youngster her first top-20 scalp.

Jessica Pegula, Petra Kvitova and Paula Badosa were among the others to secure their progression on Sunday.

Robert Lewandowski joined skiing greats Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin in saluting Iga Swiatek for earning the number one ranking in women's tennis for the first time.

At the age of 20, Swiatek guaranteed she will top the WTA list after the Miami Open by beating Viktorija Golubic 6-2 6-0 in her opening match at the event.

Swiatek will replace Ash Barty, whose shock retirement will see the Australian drop off the ranking ladder entirely when it is next published on April 4.

Since a shock French Open victory in October 2020, when the unseeded Swiatek stormed through the draw without dropping a set, the Polish youngster has continued to make a major impact.

She reached at least the fourth round of all the grand slams last year and was a semi-finalist at the 2022 Australian Open, before victory at WTA 1000 events in Doha and Indian Wells propelled her to number two in the rankings.

Now she will climb a step higher, and that news has proven popular with Swiatek's supporters, who include a number of illustrious names.

Fellow Polish sporting star Lewandowski, who is rewriting goalscoring records in Germany with Bayern Munich, sent his compatriot a message on Instagram that read simply: "Congratulations Iga. Well done."

Swiatek is a huge admirer of Americans Vonn and Shiffrin, who have both landed World Championship and Olympic gold medals on the slopes, and the respect is mutual.

Vonn told Swiatek her achievement was "So deserved!!", and Shiffrin posted: "Congrats Iga!!"

Former WTA number one Kim Clijsters, who was also 20 when she first hit the top spot in 2003, felt it was a natural next step for Swiatek to move up a rung and become the 28th top-ranked player in the tour's history. Swiatek will also be the first Pole to sit at the summit.

Clijsters said: "To see Iga grow as a tennis player, it has been so beautiful for me. There's a certain type of focus that is on tennis, and tennis only. There's a drive there that I admire very much – a drive that I recognise."

Belgian Clijsters, quoted on the WTA website, added: "She's had great results in the past, but she still wants to improve. We've seen others that kind of take a step back and say, 'Oh, I've won a slam now, I've made it. There's sponsors coming in and I get treated like a princess wherever I go'.

"Just because you’re the number one player and have won slams, doesn't mean you should treat other people differently. I feel like Ash Barty did that amazingly, and I think Iga has that focus, too."

New world number one Iga Swiatek says taking the top rank is a "dream come true" and something she never strongly believed could happen.

Swiatek made history as the first Polish tennis player to reach the top ranking, taking over the mantle following Ashleigh Barty's shock decision to retire from the sport in midweek. She will officially become number one when the WTA rankings are updated on April 4.

The 20-year-old Pole, who won the 2020 French Open and made this year's Australian Open semi-finals, made the ascent to the summit after beating Viktorija Golubic 6-2 6-0 at the Miami Open on Friday.

"It's a dream come true, for sure," Swiatek told reporters. "It's that kind of thing that I wanted to happen someday, but I didn't really know that it's going to be possible for me.

"I never really imagined that moment, because truth to be told, I was working day by day and I was playing tennis well, but I never had that like that strong belief that it can actually happen, so it's even more surreal for me."

Swiatek has claimed WTA 1000 titles at Indian Wells and Doha this year, with her victory over Golubic extending her winning run to 12 matches.

She is the 28th woman to reach the summit in the WTA rankings, becoming the youngest player at the top since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.

"I think it's going to be a bit different and maybe the hype is going to be a bit bigger, but I'm ready for that," she said.

"Honestly, it's like part of the job, so I always knew if I'm going to succeed, it's going to be there. I really appreciate people being really enthusiastic and really pumped up because I think sometimes I'm even playing for them."

Barty was quick to congratulate Swiatek on claiming the number one ranking, saying there is "no better person" than the Pole.

"There is no better person," Barty said in a message. "The way that she's brought this fresh, fearless energy onto the court has been incredible.

"I hope she can take it and still be her, do it her own way, and really chase what she's after in her career and her dreams."

Former French Open champion Iga Swiatek has risen to world number one in the wake of Ashleigh Barty's retirement with a 6-2 6-0 win over Viktorija Golubic at the WTA Miami Open on Friday, sealing her ascent.

Swiatek, who won recent WTA 1000 events this year at Indian Wells and Doha, cruised to victory in one hour and 14 minutes over the Swiss.

The 20-year-old Pole, who won the French Open in 2020 and reached this year's Australian Open semi-finals, will officially become the top-ranked player when the rankings are updated on Monday April 4.

Barty's name will be removed from the rankings at her request having announced her shock retirement earlier this week at the age of 25, despite winning this year's Australian Open and last year's Wimbledon titles.

Swiatek is the 28th woman to reach the summit in the WTA rankings, becoming the youngest player at the top since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010. She will become Poland's first-ever number one in tennis history.

The Pole extended her winning streak to 12 matches against Golubic, taking her to a tour-high 21 wins this year, in a match where she saved eight of nine break points and took six of the nine she generated.

Swiatek's main immediate competition for the top rank was fifth seed Paula Badosa who got past Marie Bouzkova 7-5 7-5 in two hours and three minutes.

Badosa, who got the edge by grinding out games under pressure, will face Yulia Putintseva in the third round after she won 6-3 4-6 7-5 over Lesia Tsurenko.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari was bundled out of contention following a shock 4-6 6-1 6-2 loss to Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Two-time major winner Petra Kvitova needed three sets to get past Clara Burel, winning 6-1 3-6 6-3 in one hour and 45 minutes.

Jessica Pegula beat Sloane Stephens 6-1 6-4, Cori Gauff got past Qiang Wang 7-5 6-4 and 20th seed Elise Mertens went down 7-5 2-6 6-1 to Linda Fruhvirtova.

Two of the top-ranked players on the WTA tour have spoken about world number one Ash Barty's shock retirement, with Danielle Collins calling it "badass".

Barty announced she had retired through a post on her Instagram account, where she had a sit-down interview with former Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua about her decision to walk away.

In her interview, Barty discussed accomplishing the goals she set out for herself in her tennis career, capped off with wins at Wimbledon and this year's Australian Open, as well as having other dreams she would like to work towards.

Barty, 25, has played professional cricket in Australia's Big Bash League, and has been linked with her beloved Richmond Tigers if she were to try her hand at Australian Rules football.

She is also recently married, and has discussed her desire to start a family.

Collins, currently the world number 11, spoke about how incredible it is that Barty is able to walk away at such a young age, with so many accomplishments under her belt.

"I am a little bit surprised because I think at 25 and being at the top of her game and in achieving everything that she's achieved and being so young she would certainly continue to achieve what she's been achieving," Collins said.

"But I think it really speaks to the way that our game empowers women, because how many other professions would you be able to retire at 25? 

"I mean, this is incredible, it's so badass, and I really have a lot of respect for Ash making the decision to do what's best for her, and to live out her life on her terms. It's really special."

Rising star and world number two Iga Swiatek also weighed in, saying her first reaction was an outpouring of emotion about what a loss it was for the game of tennis.

"Well, I mean, it is so fresh and it's so sudden that it is something that I need to digest," the 20-year-old said.

"I cried for like 30 minutes, actually, when she posted that video and that interview. 

"It's very hard to describe it because on one hand… if you know Ash, it's not a surprise at all, because she's like that kind of person who's looking for challenges also in other aspects of life. 

"I mean, you can see that she's pretty confident with her decision. But on the other hand, it's new for me to see athletes retiring so early. 

"I'm pretty new on tour and I feel like I wanted to play more matches against Ash, and also compete against her and have a chance to actually understand how she plays and how she uses the different skills that she has. 

"I mean, for me, I feel kind of sad that I'm not going to be able to do that because I think it would be a great rivalry. And also, she's a great person to look up to and to kind of chase. 

"But I'm also happy for her, and I think she's really brave that she made that decision because there would be many people who, I don't know, kind of stay in this place because you were first in the world. 

"But if you're not feeling happy with what you're doing or if you're feeling satisfied as she did after winning the Australian Open, then it's your own decision. And I think she's pretty brave that she made that decision."

Iga Swiatek claimed back-to-back WTA 1000 titles as she captured the Indian Wells Open crown after defeating Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-1.

Winning her 11th successive match, the Pole added to her triumph in Doha last month after prevailing in one hour and 20 minutes.

Swiatek subsequently climbed to a career-high second in the WTA rankings; making her the first Polish player to do so since Agnieszka Radwanska in July 2012.

The 20-year-old also claimed her fifth career title; becoming only the fifth woman to reach that tally before her 21st birthday after Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

"After playing so well in previous tournaments, I didn’t know it was possible for me to play that well for that long," said the former French Open champion, who claimed her second successive win over Sakkari having also prevailed in the Qatar Open semi-finals.

"I want to congratulate Maria. Every match against her is a great battle. I know that we've already started a cool rivalry. 

"I think it's going to last for 10 more years, so it's going to be exciting, and I’m sure we're going to play many more finals.

"I want to thank my team; they're doing an amazing job calming me down and getting me to the place where I'm more confident and developing my tennis."

The two finalists struggled to settle during the opening set; both hitting five double-faults as six of the first seven games went against the serve.

But 12 unforced errors to her opponent's seven proved crucial for Sakkari, who had only been broken seven times in her five previous matches, as third seed Swiatek drew first blood after 45 minutes.

Losing only her second set of the week, sixth seed Sakkari had been beaten on all three occasions in 2022 when losing the opener.

Meanwhile, Swiatek had not dropped a set since her fourth-round victory over Angelique Kerber, and built on that momentum as she dominated the second.

The former Roland Garros champion broke her opponent twice more, as she only required an additional 35 minutes to wrap up victory; a sweeping forehand sealing the deal.

Iga Swiatek defeated Simona Halep 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 at the Indian Wells Open on Friday, progressing to the final and extending her winning streak to 10.

The Polish world number four came back from a break down in each set - as well as saving two set points in the first-set tiebreak - to level her head-to-head record with Halep at 2-2.

After taking out the WTA 1000 tournament in Doha last month, Swiatek has not had it all her way this week in California. Aside from a 6-1 6-0 trouncing of Madison Keys, the 20-year-old had to fight from a set down in her opening three matches.

Following a tight first set, Halep won three games in a row to take a 4-2 lead, but it was here Swiatek started to open up on return of serve.

She was ultimately able to capitalise on Halep's second serve, winning 14 of a total 21 points when given a second look, to earn five service breaks for the match.

Swiatek is now at least guaranteed to reach a career-high world number three ranking with, and a win in the final would move her to number two, only behind Ashleigh Barty.

She will meet Maria Sakkari in the final on Sunday, who broke down in tears after her hectic 6-2 4-6 6-1 win over Paula Badosa in the late match.

Despite Badosa having a higher first-serve rate than her opponent in the first set at 53.9 per cent, Sakkari was all over the second serve, winning nine out of a total 12 points.

After powering through the first set with flat hitting, the Greek world number six lost momentum in the second and forced play with rushed shot selection after getting broken early.

She still managed one of the shots of the match in trying to save that break of serve, scrambling across court to hit an underarm pass down the line.

Badosa kept her composure on serve to take the second set, winning 21 out of 29 points at an improved 72.9 per cent. Sakkari regrouped and exhibited her unique court coverage, however, taking the win after getting an early break.

Sakkari immediately broke down in tears afterwards, upon making her first WTA 1000 final and defeating the defending champion at Indian Wells.

Former world number one Simona Halep emphatically dispatched unseeded Petra Matric 6-1 6-1 in Wednesday's quarter-final at the Indian Wells Open.

Halep landed 75 per cent of her first-serves and won those points at a rate of 82 per cent (27/33).

Martic's serve commanded much less respect, as she landed 69 per cent of her first-serves, but only won 36 per cent of those points (8/22).

After holding in her first service game, Martic allowed Halep to rattle off six consecutive games, with three double-faults assisting her Romanian opponent.

With the win, Halep booked a semi-final matchup against Poland's number three seed Iga Swiatek after she prevailed in her meeting with American Madison Keys in similar fashion.

Paula Badosa went a step closer to defending her Indian Wells Open title as she ended Leylah Fernandez's run to reach the quarter-finals.

Badosa was calm under pressure against last year's US Open runner-up, saving five out of the six breakpoints she offered up in a 6-4 6-4 success.

Matters were less routine for third seed Iga Swiatek, who held her nerve to come back from a set down against three-time major champion Angelique Kerber.

Breakpoints were contested in six of the match's first eight games and Kerber made the big points count, but Swiatek went on to triumph 4-6 6-2 6-3.

Swiatek, 20, showed grit beyond her years as she broke Kerber's serve four times in the second set, cleaning up her first-serve percentage while the German was only able to win 31 per cent of her successful first-serves (4-13).

Both women hit over 70 per cent of their first-serves in the final set, with the difference coming down to the return game, where Swiatek won half of her return points (12-24), with Kerber struggling (5-22).

Swiatek will face American Madison Keys, who defeated Harriet Dart in a brisk 69 minutes, while Badosa goes up against Veronika Kudermetova, who overcame Naomi Osaka in contentious circumstances earlier in the tournament.

Two-time major winner Simona Halep secured a spot in the Indian Wells Open last 16 with a strong 6-3 6-4 victory over 16th seed Cori Gauff on Sunday.

Halep, who is aiming to rebuild her ranking in 2022 after an injury-hit second half of last year, was excellent with her return, particularly on Gauff's second serve to gain the edge.

The Romanian saved all four break points generated by Gauff, while she converted three of the nine break points that she created.

Halep, who started the year with victory at the Melbourne Summer Set 1 before a last-16 loss to Alize Cornet at the Australian Open, needed only one hour and 16 minutes to seal her progress.

She will next play Romanian compatriot Sorana Cirstea after the 26th seed won 5-7 6-1 6-0 against lucky loser Anna Kalinskaya.

Last year's US Open champion and British 11th seed Emma Raducanu was bundled out by Croatian world number 79 Petra Martic 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 7-5.

Raducanu had served for the match in the final set but the Croatian won the final three games. Martic triumphed in two hours and 46 minutes, reaching the last 16 at Indian Wells for the second time in her career.

Martic will face 28th seed Liudmila Samsonova who triumphed 6-4 7-6 (7-4) over Danka Kovinic.

Third seed Iga Swiatek came from a set down to win 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-1 over Clara Tauson in two hours and 18 minutes.

Swiatek has won seven straight matches and is unbeaten at WTA 1000 events this season, having triumphed in Doha last month.

The Pole will take on three-time major winner Angelique Kerber in the last 16 after the German won comfortably over Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1.

American 25th seed Madison Keys got past countrywoman Alison Riske 7-6 (7-4) 6-1, setting up a fourth-round meeting with British qualifier Harriet Dart who beat Kaia Kanepi in straight sets.

Alison Riske produced a breathtaking comeback to beat Garbine Muguruza at the Indian Wells Open, turning around an apparent lost cause after losing the first nine games of the match.

Muguruza, who won the WTA Finals title at the end of last season, was cruising at 6-0 3-0, but 31-year-old American Riske, despite tossing her racket in frustration, refused to give up. Incredibly, she won 12 of the next 13 games to reach the third round at the expense of the world number nine.

"After the first set, it literally could not get any worse," Riske said in her on-court interview following a 0-6 6-3 6-1 success.

"So if I could try to get two balls in the court we might get somewhere. I was just trying to hang in there. I've played Garbine many times before and it's always been a battle."

This was Riske's fifth match against Spanish star Muguruza, and despite losing the first two of those, she had since beaten the two-time grand slam winner twice, albeit most recently at the 2019 US Open.

"I felt if I could get in there a little bit, I was going to have my chances," Riske said. "I know I've beaten her before, and if I could just bring out some of my game, good things were going to happen."

It was world number 53 Riske's 10th career victory against a player ranked in the top 10.

British player Harriet Dart pulled off a shock win over Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, as the world number 122 snatched a 2-6 6-3 6-3 victory over the 12th seed.

Three of the biggest names in the draw took the long route through to the last-32 stage, with Emma Raducanu, Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek taken to a deciding set in their opening matches, having benefited from first-round byes 

Raducanu fended off Caroline Garcia 6-1 3-6 6-1, while Halep was a 6-2 4-6 6-2 winner against Ekaterina Alexandrova, the Russian who is playing under a neutral flag.

Polish third seed Swiatek put a slow start behind her to beat Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina 5-7 6-0 6-1 and is looking to build on her recent Qatar Open triumph. She said: "I'm pretty happy I could turn my head on to fight mode and stay focused, because that was the key I guess."

Last year's Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova bowed out, the Czech seventh seed losing 2-6 7-5 6-4 to Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

Iga Swiatek thrashed Anett Kontaveit on Saturday to win the Qatar Ladies Open title.

The world number eight triumphed 6-2 6-0 to win her first Tour title of 2022 and the fourth of her career.

Swiatek, who has now claimed two titles at the WTA 1000 level, won the final 10 games of the contest as Kontaveit was powerless to stop her nine-match winning streak coming to an end.

The 2020 French Open champion Swiatek has only dropped 11 games in the four finals she has won.

Kontaveit fought back to 2-2 after an early break of serve, but that was the last time she would win a game as Swiatek took control.

Having survived break points to see out the opening set, Swiatek powered through the second, dropping just four points on serve as she raced to victory in 66 minutes.

Swiatek has now won her last three matches against Kontaveit, taking the overall head-to-head record to 3-2 wins in her favour.

Anett Kontaveit defeated Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets, while Iga Swiatek overcame Maria Sakkari to secure her place in the Qatar Ladies Open final.

Swiatek advanced to the Doha showpiece for the first time after managing her first win over Sakkari in four attempts with a 6-4 6-3 triumph on Friday.

The Pole was in imperious form as she delivered 20 winners to overcome sixth seed Sakkari in an hour and 28 minutes, collecting her seventh top-10 win and second straight such win after defeating Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-finals.

The seventh seed will now meet Kontaveit, who continued her impressive streak with a 6-1 6-4 win over Ostapenko in just 68 minutes.

Ostapenko headed into the clash on a career-best nine-match winning run, but succumbed to her fourth loss in five meetings with the fourth seed in Qatar.

Ostapenko did have back-to-back break points at 5-5 in the final set, but Kontaveit managed to hold on for victory.

"She can outplay anyone, and then she might not find the consistency sometimes, so you have to be ready for that," Kontaveit said of Ostapenko.

"I was trying to play a consistent match and just do my best on my serve and hold on to it, especially in the second set when I was a break up.

"Sometimes when she's on fire, her returns are unplayable and it's just very difficult.

"But I kept repeating to myself, 'I'm really good at serving it out, I'm really good at serving it out,' and eventually managed to do that.

"How you approach the match, how you're approaching the service games, I think if you're trying to be aggressive [...] that has a lot of effect on the serve."

It will be the seventh final that Kontaveit has contested since last August, converting those appearances into five titles so far. Kontaveit and Swiatek share a pair of wins apiece in previous clashes.

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