Home Tennis Iga Swiatek, Barbora Krejcikova challenged in reaching Ostrava semis

Iga Swiatek, Barbora Krejcikova challenged in reaching Ostrava semis

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Two Grand Slam champions fought for nearly two hours each to top American qualifiers and reach the Agel Open semifinals Friday.

No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek got past former junior partner and rival Caty McNally 6-4, 6-4, and Barbora Krejcikova was the first of three Czechs in the quarterfinals to advance when she ended the career-best run of Alycia Parks 7-6 (7), 6-3.

Swiatek, champion of the French and US Opens, will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova, who defeated Tereza Martincova 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, while Krejcikova lined up Elena Rybakina.

Swiatek and McNally won the 2018 Junior French Open doubles. McNally won both of their junior meetings.

“Tactically it was easier to prepare, because I know her game style,” Swiatek said. “She’s playing differently to other players. But on the other hand, a lot of time has passed since we played last time. I knew she’d made progress, and I had to be ready.”

Swiatek, the only seeded player to make the final eight, was under pressure on serve from the outset and was broken first. In the second set, she led 3-0 but was pinned back to 3-3. McNally, the lowest-ranked woman ever to reach the Ostrava quarterfinals at 151st, had 11 break chances and Swiatek 10. But Swiatek converted four and McNally only two.

Krejcikova couldn’t consolidate early service breaks in each set against Parks and had to save a set point in the first. Parks, ranked 144th, helped her with nine double faults.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Rybakina beat former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 7-6 (5), 6-4 in their first career meeting.

They couldn’t break each other in the first set, which was settled in the tiebreak when Kvitova followed a double fault with a netted backhand. Rybakina finally broke for 4-3 in the second and lost only one point in her last two service games, capping the match with her 11th ace.

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