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Swiatek in; Sabalenka, Gauff out

The Philippine Star
Swiatek in; Sabalenka, Gauff out
Iga Swiatek.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines —  World number one and defending champion Iga Swiatek took her Stuttgart winning streak to 10 matches on Friday with a straight sets quarterfinal victory over Emma Raducanu while title rivals Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff suffered shock defeats.

Top seed Swiatek, the 2022 and 2023 champion at the German clay-court tournament, saw off former US Open champion Raducanu 7-6 (7/2), 6-3.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova beat world number two and three-time Stuttgart runner-up Sabalenka 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

US Open champion Gauff, the world number three, fell 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) to Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk.

The 22-year-old Swiatek needed just over two hours to defeat Raducanu who was playing in her first quarterfinal since 2022.

“She started playing at the beginning pretty loose, like she had nothing to lose, and I totally get that. Sometimes it is like that,” said Swiatek.

“But I knew I was kind of questioning if she’s going to be able to keep the same intensity throughout the whole match. It wasn’t about service games or return games. I was just waiting for my chances to break back and I was sure that I’m going to get them.”

Despite her loss, there were encouraging signs of a return to form for Raducanu.

Her two wins for Britain in the Billie Jean King Cup win against France last weekend followed by two victories in Stuttgart mark the first time she has won four matches in a row since her 2021 US Open title triumph.

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