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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday September 24, 2021

 
Iga Swiatek

The top two seeds powered into the semifinals at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open.

Photo Source: Ostrava Open

The top two seeds powered to victory on Friday at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open, as Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova each reached the semifinals thanks to straight set wins.

Tennis Express

Top-seeded Swiatek notched a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over seventh-seeded Elena Rybakina, while Kvitova eased past Jil Teichman, 6-4, 6-4.

Swiatek is playing as the top seed at a tournament for the first time – she improved to 33-11 on the season thanks to 36 of 48 first-serve points won, a far better number than Rybakina’s 27 of 47. Also helping Swiatek was her 74 percent first-serve percentage, which was higher than Rybakina’s 61 percent and help to nullify the fact that Rybakina did a better job of winning second serve points (15 of 30, compared to 7 of 17 for Swiatek).


There was a trade of breaks in a tight opening set, and Rybakina saved a pair of break points to hold for 5-4, but she could not hang with Swiatek in the tiebreak – the Pole won four of the last six points to take a one set to love lead.

Swiatek turned the tide and dominated the second set, racing out to leads of 3-0 and 5-1 before converting her third match point to close the victory in one hour and 42 minutes.

The 20-year-old Pole improves to 4-6 against the Top-20 in 2021, and is the youngest player left in the draw.

She will face No.4-seeded Maria Sakkari, who defeated Tereza Martincova, 7-5, 6-3, in the semis.


Kvitova reached her 56th career WTA semifinal by defeating Teichmann decisively. The Czech needed to be strong under pressure and she was, saving seven of eight break points.

She broke for 5-4 before closing out the opening set, and rallied from 2-0 down in set two to take six of the final games and close out her victory in one hour and 36 minutes.

Kvitova is bidding for her seventh indoor title, and her 20th on a hard court. She improves to 28-15 on the season, and earned her 28th career title earlier this season in Doha.

Kvitova will face either Belinda Bencic or Annet Kontaveit in the semis on Saturday.

 

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