Swiatek wins Andreescu in Rome

By Chigozie Anueyiagu, The Nigerian Voice Sports

Polish star Iga Swiatek player extended her winning streak to 26 matches and reached the Italian Open semifinals after beating former U.S. Open champion BiancaAndreescu 7-6 (2), 6-0 on Friday.

Swiatek struggled to handle being a top-five player last year. Now she has learned how to use her recent success to intimidate.

"I needed time to learn how to do that properly, how to use the streak or ranking to put pressure on my opponents," Swiatek said. "Last year when I had [a] better ranking [than opponents], it felt like it's something that's pressuring me down. This time it's totally different."

Considering her prowess on hard courts, the often-injured Andreescu has been tossed around as a potential No. 1. But Swiatek slowly wore Andreescu down in a lengthy first set at the Foro Italico and dictated the tiebreaker by moving her opponent from side to side.

In all, Swiatek produced 27 winners to Andreescu's 12 and converted all six of her break points.

"I feel like every match I'm playing better and better," Swiatek said. "Even though the first set was pretty tight, I had some ups and downs, I feel like I could play well in important moments and break back anytime.

"I'm pretty happy that also the second set was more solid because it shows that I'm learning my lessons throughout the whole match."

Swiatek's semifinal opponent will be third-seeded ArynaSabalenka , who rallied past AmandaAnisimova 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 for her first victory over the American in five tries.

Swiatek is attempting to win her fifth straight tournament and defend her title in Rome.

The last player to win more consecutive matches was Williams in 2014-15, when she had a streak of 27.

Swiatek's run makes her a favorite to win a second French Open title when the year's second Grand Slam gets underway in nine days.