Salem Radio Network News Saturday, May 21, 2022

Sports

Tennis-Another major, another fourth round for sizzling Swiatek

By Sudipto Ganguly

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -Former French Open champion Iga Swiatek continued her consistent streak at Grand Slams, dominating from the baseline to roll over Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-2 6-3 on Saturday to storm into the Australian Open fourth round.

It is the sixth consecutive major in which the 20-year-old from Poland has made at least the fourth round.

“It’s not a good way to focus on that,” said Swiatek, who has sailed through her first three matches this week, losing only 12 games in the process.

“That stat, I’m really proud of it right now that I achieved it, but in the morning I would say it gave me a little bit more pressure.”

The 23rd-ranked Kasatkina, a former top-10 player, won her only previous meeting with Swiatek in 2021 but that match was played on grass.

Seventh-seeded Swiatek, who won the claycourt Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2020, hit 24 winners and broke Kasatkina’s serve twice in each set to cruise through the contest at Margaret Court Arena in one hour and 34 minutes.

Swiatek felt she was able to tactically disrupt Kasatkina from using her topspin-heavy forehand.

“That was a really intense match. I feel like I’m playing better and better every match, so that’s a positive,” the 20-year-old said.

Swiatek will next meet either another Russian in 10th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or 38th-ranked Sorana Cirstea of Romania for a place in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park.

Taking one match at a time has worked well for Swiatek and she was not planning to change that approach.

“I want to have some tournaments that I’m going to really make something bigger than fourth round,” she said.

“But on the other hand I don’t want to focus on that, because I’m pretty good right now at just looking at another match, another step, not looking (at) what’s going to happen if I’m going to win two more matches.”

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ken Ferris)

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