Iga Swiatek may be the world number one and have had a 37-match winning streak this year but says she is surprised to reach this week's US Open semi-finals.

Swiatek qualified for her third grand slam semi-final for the season with a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) victory over American eighth seed Jessica Pegula in one hour and 53 minutes on Wednesday.

The 2022 French Open champion and 2022 Australian Open semi-finalist became the first women's top seed to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows since Serena Williams in 2016.

The victory comes after Swiatek's 37-match winning streak was ended in the third round at Wimbledon in June by Alize Cornet, winning four out of seven matches at three tournaments following that as the WTA Tour moved to hard courts in the lead-up to the US Open.

Swiatek expressed her surprise at making the last four during her on-court interview after the match and explained that, following early losses in the lead-up tournaments in Cincinnati and Toronto.

"Looking logically at the last tournaments, I just didn't know if this one is going to be possible for me to be consistent and to win so many matches in a row," Swiatek told reporters.

"I feel like I've been playing better and better every week since the start of this swing. So it surprised me because after the losses that I had in Toronto and Cincinnati, I just wasn't expecting to play so well here.

"It gave me actually a lot because I could be kind of an underdog again, not maybe fully, but just not expect from myself that I'm going to win everything right now."

The Pole said her game "clicked" against Pegula, hitting 22 winners compared to the American's 14, winning 43-of-71 points on return.

"I'm pretty proud of it because I feel like I'm playing better and better every match," she said.

"Jessie was a tough opponent today, for sure. Second set was really tight. We both were fighting till the last point. I'm proud of myself that I could be the one to win the last one."

Swiatek will take on Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-finals, while Pegula bows out having reached the quarter-finals at three of the four majors this year.

"I go back and forth, I should be positive," Pegula said. "At the same time I'm like, three quarterfinals. Sorry, but it sucks. It sucks.

"I wish I could have done it here at my home slam, but I guess not. I wish I didn't have to play Iga every quarter-final or Ash Barty, which seem to be the two people that don't really lose that often. So it just sucks.

"I had a great year at the slams. I know there's still some tournaments left. I'm a little deflated right now. I'm not real happy. It just sucks to lose. I just wish it would have been different tonight."

World number one Iga Swiatek has continued her commanding 2022 season with a straight-sets victory over eighth seed Jessica Pegula securing her spot in the US Open semi-finals for the first time.

The Pole, who won this year's French Open and went on a 37-match winning streak until her third-round Wimbledon defeat, triumphed 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in one hour and 53 minutes in a match full of breaks.

Swiatek's victory, her 55th of the season, clinched a semi-final date with sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka, who fell in the last four at last year's US Open.

The 21-year-old became the first women's top seed to reach the US Open semi-finals since Serena Williams in 2016, while she is the only previous grand slam winner remaining in the draw.

In a match that was far from a classic, Swiatek fought back from a break down in the first set to take the advantage, before a second frame that included 10 breaks, with the Pole edging home in a tie-break.

Pegula broke Swiatek in the fifth game to lead 3-2 in the first set but the Pole responded emphatically, going on a sequence where she won 14 of 15 points to secure the set.

Swiatek appeared ready to run away with the match when she immediately broke the American in the first game of the second set but that merely set the tone, with both players struggling to hold on serve.

The world number one served twice for the match but faltered, forcing a tie-break which the Pole won, converting her first match poinit.

Data slam: Breaks galore in tense battle

Holding serve proved challenging in a tense match, with 13 games broken out of the 21 played, including 10 of those coming in the second set. Swiatek had broken serve 57 per cent of her return games during the US Open coming in.

Both players also had more unforced errors than winners, with Swiatek's 21 winners ultimately proving the difference in class. It was Swiatek's eighth win over a top-10 opponent in a row in straight sets.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 1/3
Pegula – 1/3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 21/32
Pegula – 14/29

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 7/11
Pegula – 6/10

Frances Tiafoe celebrated a "crazy" win after his defeat of Andrey Rublev saw him become the first American man to reach the US Open semi-finals in 16 years.

Tiafoe stunned Rafael Nadal on Monday and followed up that career-high by reaching the last four of a major for the first time on Wednesday.

Ninth seed Rublev, who has lost all six of his grand slam quarter-finals, stood in his way but Tiafoe prevailed 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-0) 6-4 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 24-year-old is the first male player from the United States to reach a semi-final at Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick in 2006.

Roddick went on to reach the final that year, though fell short of winning a second US Open final as he lost to Roger Federer.

This time around, Tiafoe will face either Jannik Sinner or Carlos Alcaraz, who has a shot at becoming the new world number one. 

"This is wild, this is crazy," world number 26 Tiafoe said after his win. 

"I had the biggest win of my life 48 hours ago and coming out and getting another big win. Andrey's a hell of a player, and to back it up, that's huge. It's tough to turn the page, but I did and now I'm in the semis.

"I feel so at home on courts like this. This court is unbelievable. [The crowd] gets so far behind me, I want to play, I want to give my best. I always find a way somehow on this court, I always play some great tennis and I have been. Let's enjoy this, we've got two more."

Tiafoe might well be the only home hope left for the American crowd to back in New York come the end of play on Wednesday, with Jessica Pegula facing the daunting task of taking on world number one Iga Swiatek in the women's singles.

Aryna Sabalenka credited a greater awareness of what to expect from Karolina Pliskova for her US Open quarter-final victory.

Sabalenka and Pliskova went into Wednesday's match having split their four previous meetings.

Pliskova, though, had the last two, the Czech coming from a set down to beat Sabalenka in last year's Wimbledon semi-finals and also prevailing in the last four in Montreal in 2021.

But Sabalenka turned the tide this time around at Flushing Meadows, a blistering forehand return sealing a 6-1 7-6 (7-4) triumph and a place in a second successive US Open semi-final.

Sabalenka said in her on-court interview: "The last two matches, I don't want to say I didn't respect her and I didn't expect from her a great level, I was thinking ok I'm on the top I have to beat her and today I expect a great level, I expect the long rallies, I expect the tough match and I just tried to stay in this match as long as I can and just tried to make her work for it and should played really well and somehow I was able to handle this level and win this match."

Next up for Sabalenka will be either world number one Iga Swiatek or home hope Jessica Pegula.

And she knows either opponent will present a significant hurdle as Sabalenka seeks to reach a first grand slam final.

"It's a semi-final, it's going to be tough and I'm ready for it, I'm ready for another fight," she added. 

"I think I just have to stay focused on myself and do whatever I can, do my best and be ready for a great battle."

Both Ons Jabeur and Caroline Garcia have made further history with their advancement to the US Open women's semi-finals on Tuesday.

The Tunisian overcame Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic in a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium, before the Frenchwoman swept aside home favourite Coco Gauff 6-3 6-4.

In doing so, both have reached their first last-four appearance at the final grand slam of the year, and set themselves new benchmarks in the process.

Jabeur is the first Arab or African woman in the Open Era to make the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows.

On the back of reaching the final at Wimbledon earlier this year, she could finish the tournament as the world number two.

Garcia, meanwhile, has reached her first major semi-final without dropping a set along the way.

She has lost just 27 games en route and victory over Gauff extended her winning streak to 13.

In addition, she becomes just the third Frenchwoman to reach the US Open semi-finals in the Open Era, after Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce.

Nick Kyrgios claims all tournaments other than grand slams are a "waste of time" following his US Open quarter-final exit to Karen Khachanov on Tuesday.

The in-form 2022 Wimbledon runner-up's run at Flushing Meadows, which included knocking out defending champion Daniil Medvedev, was ended by Khachanov 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 6-4.

Kyrgios had been in career-best form, winning more matches than any other player on the ATP Tour since his Wimbledon final defeat to Novak Djokovic, but will need to wait until January for another crack at a major, at his home Australian Open.

The 27-year-old has spoken about his renewed level of focus since reaching the Wimbledon final and said he was "devastated" by his US Open loss, smashing a racquet after the match.

"I honestly feel like s***," he said. "I feel like I've let so many people down.

"I feel like these four tournaments are the only ones that are ever going to matter. It's just like you got to start it all again. I have to wait until the Australian Open. It's just devastating. It's heart-breaking.

"I don't even really care about any other tournament. I feel like at the grand slams, now having success at a grand slam, it's just like no other tournament really matters.

"It's like you get better, you get worse, then at a grand slam none of it matters. You either win or lose. People don't really care if you got better on the day or you lost 6-4 in the fifth or played one of the best matches of the tournament. You lost.

"That's all people remember at a grand slam, whether you win or you lose. I think pretty much every other tournament during the year is a waste of time really. You should just run up and show up at a grand slam. That's what you're remembered by."

Kyrgios allayed concerns over a knee injury at the end of the first set that he said settled, stating that he started "flat" and felt Khachanov's serve was too good, particularly in key moments.

"All credit to Karen, he's a fighter. He's a warrior," he said.

"I thought he served really good today. Honestly probably the best server I played this tournament, to be honest, the way he was hitting his spots under pressure."

The triumph marks 29th seed Khachanov's first major semi-final having fallen in the quarter-finals at majors twice previously.

"It's like one more step forward," the Russian said. "I'm really, really happy I could do it.

"I had to face and to beat Nick, who is playing some of the best tennis again. It obviously was a tough match to approach. I made my first semi-final, so it's pretty simple in my head. I'm just really happy."

Karen Khachanov reached a grand slam semi-final for the first time as he ended Nick Kyrgios' US Open run in a five-set three-and-a-half-hour epic on Tuesday evening.

The 27th-seeded Russian, who had fallen in the quarters at the 2019 French Open and 2021 Wimbledon Championships, prevailed 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 over the Australian 23rd seed to set up a semi-final date with fifth seed Casper Ruud.

The result ended the run of Kyrgios who had won the most matches on the ATP Tour since losing July's Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic. Kyrgios had taken out reigning champion and top seed Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round.

The 26-year-old Russian broke Kyrgios' serve in the 12th game of the first set with an exquisite lob clinching the frame where the Australian's second serve let him down.

Kyrgios responded to win the second set, despite a medical timeout for treatment on his left leg after exclaiming "I can't walk", breaking the Russian early and hitting 12-5 winners.

Khachanov claimed the third set in similar circumstances to the first, with Kyrgios failing to hold his serve in the 12th game, this time producing unforced errors in the key moments.

The two players traded breaks early in the fourth set but Kyrgios would force a fifth set after a dominant tie-break where he converted his second set point.

The Russian got an early break in the fifth set, while Kyrgios failed to convert break points in Khachanov's next two service games and he would not recover.

Data Slam: Khachanov cool under pressure

Little split these two players in an extremely tight quarter-final, with 31-30 aces edged by Kyrgios, but many of Khachanov's came at crucial moments under pressure.

Kyrgios' flamboyance and shot-making ability was on show, but his inability to convert break points, along with 58 unforced errors, ultimately proved the difference, taking two of nine.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Kyrgios – 31/5
Khachanov – 30/3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Kyrgios – 75/58
Khachanov – 62/31

BREAK POINTS WON

Kyrgios – 2/9
Khachanov – 4/8

Karen Khachanov reached a grand slam semi-final for the first time as he ended Nick Kyrgios' US Open run in a five-set three-and-a-half-hour epic on Tuesday evening.

The 27th-seeded Russian, who had fallen in the quarters at the 2019 French Open and 2021 Wimbledon Championships, prevailed 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 over the Australian 23rd seed.

The result ended the run of Kyrgios who had won the most matches on the ATP Tour since losing July's Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic. Kyrgios had taken out reigning champion and top seed Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round.

The 26-year-old Russian broke Kyrgios' serve in the 12th game of the first set with an exquisite lob clinching the frame where the Australian's second serve let him down.

Kyrgios responded to win the second set, despite a medical timeout for treatment on his left leg after exclaiming "I can't walk", breaking the Russian early and hitting 12-5 winners.

Khachanov claimed the third set in similar circumstances to the first, with Kyrgios failing to hold his serve in the 12th game, this time producing unforced errors in the key moments.

The two players traded breaks early in the fourth set but Kyrgios would force a fifth set after a dominant tie-break where he converted his second set point.

The Russian got an early break in the fifth set, while Kyrgios failed to convert break points in Khachanov's next two service games and he would not recover.

Data Slam: Khachanov cool under pressure

Little split these two players in an extremely tight quarter-final, with 31-30 aces edged by Kyrgios, but many of Khachanov's came at crucial moments under pressure.

Kyrgios' flamboyance and shot-making ability was on show, but his inability to convert break points, along with 58 unforced errors, ultimately proved the difference, taking two of nine.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Kyrgios – 31/5
Khachanov – 30/3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Kyrgios – 75/58
Khachanov – 62/31

BREAK POINTS WON

Kyrgios – 2/9
Khachanov – 4/8

After once being considered one of the top young prospects in all of tennis, Caroline Garcia says she feels like she is finally prepared to handle everything that is required to deliver on the biggest stages.

In her toughest matchup of the tournament so far, the Frenchwoman was emphatic as she comfortably handled rising star Coco Gauff 6-3 6-4 in Tuesday's quarter-final.

Garcia, 28, shot onto the international stage when she was impressive before ultimately losing to Maria Sharapova back in 2011 when she was just 17 years old.

At the time, Andy Murray tweeted that she would be a future world number one, and she appeared to be on that path when she peaked at fourth in the world in 2018, before a couple of rough years had her residing outside of the top 50.

Now in career-best form, Garcia has 31 wins from her past 35 matches, including 13 wins in a row and six straight-sets victories on the trot.

Speaking to the media after her quarter-final triumph, Garcia said the long, winding journey to this point has only given her valuable experience.

"When it was 2011 after the Sharapova match, it was a lot of pressure coming from actually nowhere," she said. "I was 150, 200 in the world, 17 years old. My game was not ready. 

"I was not able to play that consistent, this kind of level. The weeks after I went back trying to play the same level, but it was not possible for me.

"It was tough because people were expecting a lot. But the game, I was not ready for anything like that. It took me some time to come step-by-step to the top.

"End of 2017, 2018 was a great year, a lot of success. Yeah, I made some mistakes. We made some mistakes. I really hope and think we can learn from it.

"Now, it's a new year, trying to learn from every challenge. I think I've grown up a lot with all the challenges on and off court. Off court, it's very important to manage all of it."

Touching on what has clicked in her recent run, Garcia said she has figured out what works for her, which has simplified everything.

"I'm just trying to focus on my game, on what I like to do, and how is the best way for me to play tennis," she said.

"The path is very clear right now, which direction I have to go, under stress, under pressure. I'm just trying to follow this path. That's how we prepare with the team. We try to do the best we can in this direction.

"It was not that clear in the past. It was not that clear. I mean, I've always been very aggressive. I always try to put the pressure on the other one to be on the court.

"But I was younger… and now [I can] accept that it's actually the only way for me. So if I want to do good, I have to go that way. Yeah, now it's way more clear.

"Obviously with a lot of wins, I'm having fun playing. I can see so many things I can still improve, so it's a great challenge for our team."

Garcia will play world number five Ons Jabeur in the semi-final, with Jabeur winning both of their two previous matches since turning professional.

Ons Jabeur believes she can win a major title following her Wimbledon run to the final, having clinched a spot in the US Open semi-final with a straight-sets victory over Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday.

The world number five secured her spot in the last four in one hour and 41 minutes, winning 6-4 7-6 (7-4), having trailed 5-3 in the second set.

The win was Jabeur's 43rd this season, trailing only world number one Iga Swiatek, and comes after she lost to Elena Rybakina in July's Wimbledon decider, fueling her belief that she can secure a breakthrough grand slam title.

"I believe in myself after Wimbledon," Jabeur said during her an on-court interview. "I know that I have it in me to win a [major] final. And here I am in the semi-finals."

Jabeur had reached the quarterfinals at the 2020 Australian Open and 2021 Wimbledon Championships, with her recent runner-up finish proving a breakthrough.

"I think the fact that I broke that barrier of being in the quarterfinals all the time, that did help with my confidence," she said.

"Knowing that I could make finals in grand slams really helped my game, just trying to build that experience to go into second weeks in grand slams.

"It was very tough coming here, you know, just the hard court season like wasn't that great for me. So I was trying to build more and more confidence on hard courts.

"Wimbledon helped a lot, for sure."

The 28-year-old Tunisian has made history several times, the latest being becoming the first African or Arab woman in the Open Era to reach the US Open semifinals.

On a personal level, she has now also reached the second week in all four major tournaments.

"I’m just trying to do my job here, hopefully I inspire more and more generations from Africa," Jabeur said. "It really means a lot to me."

Ons Jabeur advanced through to her first US Open semi-final after defeating the in-form Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 7-6 (7-4) on Tuesday.

Jabeur, the world number five, became the first woman from Africa to make the last four at Flushing Meadows after a powerful display in the quarter-finals accounted for an opponent who has belatedly started to pose problems at grand slams.

Continuing a strong season of her own, in which she played a first major final at Wimbledon, Jabeur broke twice in the opening set as Tomljanovic failed to fully capitalise on her wayward serving, instead getting in her own way with four double-faults to no aces.

It meant the Tunisian threatened to run away with the match when she secured another break in the first game of the second set, but Tomljanovic fought back in what developed into a back-and-forth struggle, with six breaks of serve split evenly through the first nine games.

Although that theme initially continued in the tie-break, with the first four points all going against the serve, Jabeur finally found some big serves when it mattered most to finish the job.

A semi-final against either Coco Gauff or Caroline Garcia now lies before Jabeur, who had not previously gone beyond the third round in New York.

 

Data Slam: Jabeur powers through

Jabeur lacked accuracy with her serve – landing 40 per cent of her first serves across the match – but was dominant when she was able to keep it fair, converting nine of her 11 accurate first serves in the opener to illustrate the significant power gap between the two women.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Jabeur – 4/2
Tomljanovic – 1/9

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Jabeur – 29/30
Tomljanovic – 12/24

BREAK POINTS WON

Jabeur – 5/6
Tomljanovic – 4/6

Casper Ruud booked his place in the semi-finals of the US Open with a 6-1 6-4 7-6 (7-4) defeat of Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday.

Ruud was at the top of his game in the opening two sets, taking the first inside half an hour, but Berrettini made a contest of the third.

Indeed, the Italian at one stage had two set points, having taken a 5-2 advantage.

Yet Ruud, who did not require a single ace in this match, clawed both back to hold his serve and immediately broke to swing the momentum in his favour once more.

Berrettini had failed to execute two routine drop-shots as he conceded serve and never regained his composure, with Ruud forcing the tie-break.

It was then that the world number seven got back on top form, racing into a 3-0 lead and, despite a wobble that saw two match points fall by the wayside, holding his nerve to seal the win at the third attempt.

Into his first US Open semi-final – and his second at a grand slam following a run to the final at Roland Garros this year – Ruud, who along with Carlos Alcaraz has a chance of becoming the new world number one, will face either Nick Kyrgios or Karen Khachanov in the last four.

Data Slam: Berrettini's top-10 hoodoo

Berrettini was aiming to reach his fourth grand slam semi-final and a second at Flushing Meadows, yet his record against top-10 opponents is a poor one, and it did not change for the better in New York.

He is now 7-19 for his career against opponents ranked inside the top 10 by the ATP, while he has lost his last 11 such matches since defeating Dominic Thiem – then ranked number three – at the 2021 ATP Cup. Berrettini has never defeated a top-10 opponent in a grand slam (0-8).

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Ruud – 0/2
Berrettini – 13/3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Ruud – 20/23
Berrettini – 35/39

BREAK POINTS WON

Ruud – 5/14
Berrettini – 2/9

The career of Carlos Alcaraz could be one that takes up a great deal of space in the record books, and he is getting started early.

Not yet old enough to buy a stiff drink in a New York bar, the 19-year-old was the toast of Flushing Meadows after a late-night win over Marin Cilic that ran into the early hours of Tuesday.

That five-set win against the 2014 champion, combined with the shock exit of Rafael Nadal at Frances Tiafoe's hands, has raised expectations that Alcaraz could scoop a first grand slam title on Sunday.

Should he land that breakthrough major, there will be another feather in his cap, making Alcaraz the youngest world number one since the ATP rankings were established in 1973, and the first teenager to hold down top spot. He has climbed from 32nd at the start of the year to his current position of fourth on the list.

Nadal is poised to go to number one, which he last held in February 2020, unless Alcaraz or 23-year-old Norwegian Casper Ruud reach the title match. They are the only two players remaining in the draw who can clamber to the top ranking, which Daniil Medvedev will relinquish after his fourth-round exit to Nick Kyrgios.

If both reach the final, the champion will go to number one.

In the city that never sleeps, Alcaraz completed a 6-4 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over Croatian Cilic at 02:23 local time, three minutes short of matching the latest finish in US Open history, shared jointly by three matches: Mats Wilander vs Mikael Pernfors (1993), John Isner v Philipp Kohlschreiber (2012), Kei Nishikori v Milos Raonic (2014).

The victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium made Alcaraz the youngest man to reach back-to-back US Open quarter-finals since Australians Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall both achieved the feat before turning 19 in 1953. It was called the US Championships in that era.

Alcaraz has won a tour-leading 48 matches in 2022 and has become the youngest man to reach three grand slam quarter-finals since Michael Chang over 30 years ago.

However, he next faces a player making his own history.

Alcaraz's quarter-final opponent is a recent nemesis: Jannik Sinner, the 21-year-old Italian who beat him in round four at Wimbledon and again in the final of the clay-court event in Umag, Croatia, at the end of July.

"I played a couple of times against him," Alcaraz said. "He's a great player, really tough one. I lost twice in two months [to him] so I will have to be ready for this battle against Jannik."

There is a victory that Alcaraz could point to, having defeated Sinner on an indoor hard court at the Paris Masters last November, but they have never played on an outdoor hard court, which is where they will do battle on Wednesday.

Sinner has now reached the quarter-final stage of all four majors, becoming the youngest man to pull off that feat since a 20-year-old Novak Djokovic completed the set in 2008.

The last-eight duel with Alcaraz could be a sizzling clash, albeit Alcaraz and Sinner had some recharging to do on Tuesday after both were pushed to five sets in round four, in Sinner's case by Ilya Ivashka of Belarus. Alcaraz now has a 6-1 win-loss record in five-set matches.

Nobody remaining in the men's quarter-finals has a slam title to their name, and Alcaraz will hope he continues to have the backing of the crowd in Queens.

He said after fending off Cilic: "Of course, the support today in Arthur Ashe was crazy. After losing the fourth set, it was tough for me to come back in the fifth set, to stay strong mentally. But the energy I received today made me win."

Rafael Nadal's loss to Frances Tiafoe opened up a host of possibilities including a first-time world number one and maiden grand slam winner as the top three's domination of men's singles continues to weaken.

World number three Nadal bowed out in the fourth round to 22nd seed Tiafoe 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 on Monday, while third seed Alcaraz triumphed over Marin Cilic 6-4 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-3 in a match that went to almost 2:30am local time.

Cilic was the last remaining male player with a grand slam title to his name, meaning this year's US Open will bring a new major champion.

There may also be a first-time world number one too, with Alcaraz guaranteed to claim the top rank if he wins the US Open title.

Fifth seed Casper Ruud will rise to world number one if he lifts the US Open crown at Flushing Meadows on September 11 too.

If both fall short of the final, Nadal will reclaim the top ranking from 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, who lost in the fourth round to Nick Kyrgios.

Alcaraz could also scale the rankings summit should he reach the final, assuming Ruud misses out.

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