Swiatek sets up Kudermetova Madrid Open semi-final
Iga Swiatek has laid down another marker ahead of her French Open title defence later this month with a 6-0 6-3 demolition of Petra Martic in her Madrid Open quarter-final.
The world No.1 took just 69 minutes on Wednesday to improve her winning streak to eight matches and sets up a last-four battle with Veronika Kudermetova, who ousted defending champion Jessica Pegula.
After triumphing in Stuttgart two weeks ago, three-time grand slam winner Swiatek was unsure of what condition she would be in ahead of the Masters event in Madrid.
"I feel like I'm playing better and better every day," Swiatek said on-court.
"This is pretty great, because I didn't know if that was going to be possible at the beginning of the tournament.
"But I was patient and I was hoping to get that feeling and today was for sure a good day."
Earlier, Kudermetova reached her first WTA 1000 event semi for the first time by upsetting the third seed 6-4 0-6 6-4.
The 12th-seeded Kudermetova sealed victory with an ace on her second match point, stopping Pegula reaching her second consecutive final in Madrid after finishing runner-up to Ons Jabeur at the clay-court tournament last year.
"I feel so happy and proud of myself, because every match I played three sets," the fifth-ranked Kudermetova said.
"Before this match, every match was almost three hours. Today, only two hours - I feel fresh."
She had previously reached three quarter-finals at WTA 1000 level or above, all in 2022, including at Roland Garros for her best run at a grand slam.
The 26-year-old had also reached two other semi-finals this year, in Adelaide and Doha but came into Madrid on a four-match losing streak.
The last player to reach the Madrid semis by winning four straight three-set matches was Dominika Cibulkova in 2016, when she was runner-up to Simona Halep.
The other women's semi-final match will feature second seed Aryna Sabalenka and ninth seed Maria Sakkari.