SAN DIEGO, October 16, 2022 (by Richard Osborne)
Iga Swiatek sure is comfortable on American soil. On a rain-interrupted Saturday afternoon at Barnes Tennis Center, the top seed and world No. 1 improved to 23-1 in the U.S. in 2022, now a win away from adding the San Diego Open WTA 500 to her tour-leading seven titles on the year, which include triumphs in Indian Wells, Miami and Flushing Meadows.
With her 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 turnaround against fourth seed Jessica Pegula, the 21-year-old Pole also upped her industry-best season record to 61-8. She has now defeated the American on four occasions in 2022, dropping just a single set.
“I was leading in the first set, so I knew I had the game to win this match,” said Swiatek, who after dropping the opener seemed to benefit from an extended rain delay. “I just lost my focus in the middle of the set. I didn’t want to make that mistake again. I came back and I wanted to be really composed and not lose in those important moments.”
The Warsaw native told the Barnes Stadium crowd that she spent the weather pause doing crossword puzzles. But it was more likely her ability to step up in those aforementioned important moments — she saved four of the six break points she faced, and converted five of her own — that helped her solve Pegula in the two-hour, six-minute matchup.
Despite the defeat, Pegula will join Swiatek at the year-end WTA Finals, having qualified in both singles and doubles.
Swiatek awaits the winner of the second semifinal between American Danielle Collins and Croat Qualifier Donna Vekic. The match was suspended due to rain at the two-hour, 29-minute mark with Collins leading 4-2 in the third set.
SF –  G. Dabrowski (CAN) / G. Olmos (MEX) d.  N. Melichar-Martinez (USA) / E. Perez (AUS) 60 63
SF –  I. Swiatek (POL) d.  J. Pegula (USA) 46 62 62
STADIUM COURT starts at 11:00 AM
DOUBLES SEMIFINAL  C. Gauff (USA) / J. Pegula (USA) vs  D. Krawczyk (USA) / D. Schuurs (NED)
SINGLES SEMIFINAL (TO FINISH) 64 46 24 NB 12:30 PM [Q] D. Vekic (CRO) vs D. Collins (USA)
DOUBLES FINAL NB 1:30 PM  C. Gauff (USA) / J. Pegula (USA) OR  D. Krawczyk (USA) / D. Schuurs (NED) vs  G. Dabrowski (CAN) / G. Olmos (MEX)
SINGLES FINAL NB 4:00 PM  I. Swiatek (POL) vs [Q] D. Vekic (CRO) OR D. Collins (USA)