While she had the match perfectly in hand against Elena Rybakina, Iga Swiatek hurt her right thigh at the end of the second set, and decided to give up after four games in the third. It is therefore the Kazakh who will face Jelena Ostapenko in the semi-finals in Rome.
Beaten twice this year by Elena Rybakina, at the Australian Open and Indian Wells, Iga Swiatek hoped to beat the Indian sign in the quarter-finals in Rome, it’s a miss! The world No. 1 was indeed forced to retire at the start of the third set due to a right thigh injury. However, everything had gone perfectly for a set and a half for the Pole. The first set turned out to be one-sided: two breaks at 0-0 and 2-0 for Swiatek, who played his tennis without having a single break point to defend. On her way, the world No. 1 broke white from the start of second and seemed to fly away to an easy victory, as has been so often the case for her in Rome in recent years. But that wasn’t the case, as the Wimbledon 2022 winner finally upped her game to deliver a more balanced fight. Both players easily won their face-off, up to 4-2 in favor of Swiatek.
She then got a 5-3 ball on the Kazakh’s serve but missed it, and it was finally her who lost her serve on the next game, after a double fault and a ball out of accuracy (5-5). Swiatek again missed a break point at 5-5, and it was finally at the tie-break that the two players were separated, a rarity for the Polish player on clay. She lost it 7-3 losing the last four points and appearing to be in physical pain. After a medical time-out, she came back with her right thigh strapped, and when the score was 2-2, Iga Swiatek said stop. Ten days before the start of Roland-Garros, concern is in order for the world No. 1.
Ostapenko in the last four too
While the semi-final at the bottom of the table will feature a Russian-Ukrainian clash between Veronika Kudermetova and Anhelina Kalinina, the top one will be Kazakh-Latvian, since it is Jelena Ostapenko who will have the formidable honor of facing Iga Swiatek, in a meeting between former winners of Roland-Garros. The 20th player in the world eliminated in three sets and 1h49 of play the 35th, Paula Badosa, who had beaten her two out of three times in the past: 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in a match with eleven breaks.
Ostapenko largely dominated the first set, taking three times the service of a Spaniard who had not yet entered her match. But the former world No. 2 recovered in the second, quickly leading 4-1. The Latvian recovered at 4-4, but she lost her serve at the worst moment, at 5-4. Everything was therefore played in the last round, where Ostapenko broke from the start then was unbroken (2-2), before accelerating the pace and winning four of the last five games, and therefore the match. She will play her very first semi-final in Rome, a few days away from celebrating her 26th birthday.