World No. 1 Iga Swiatek comes from behind to defeat Jule Niemeier, advancing to US Open quarterfinals
Swiatek was a force in the first set — a 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 win.
It was just as much one of those tennis moments, however — the sort of thing that happens when things are going right.
Niemeier, who upset world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the third round to reach the last eight, got the second break of the match, and the momentum started to swing in her favor.
Swiatek (pictured) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both hit back-to-back aces, the Czech taking the second of the two breaks in the third game. At 4-5 in the fourth, the crowd sensed that it could all be over, but Tsonga came back to get the break back down three games later.
Swiatek then broke Niemeier on break point when Tsonga couldn’t serve out at 5-5.
There were now four aces, and the crowd was getting restless, with Tsonga serving out at 6-7 and then, with a 30-0 score, getting the break at 6-8.
“I didn’t expect it,” said Swiatek. “A couple of points are in my favor, but now it’s up to Jo-Wilfried to continue to serve.”
A brief pause and then Tsonga, a master of controlling the rallies, won an ace to get the break back at 5-all.
“He didn’t play exactly,” said Swiatek. “I felt like I was really close, and he changed his serve quite a lot. Now it’s really about his serve.”
Swiatek didn’t need to win the game to advance to the third round, since her opponent was in the locker room.
“This is a very important tournament for me, because I think I can make it into the quarterfinals,” said Swiatek. “I played very well today. I played my best tennis of the year. So this will be a big goal for me.”
Niemeier hit 40 winners for the match. He was a major underdog at this year’s U.S. Open,