Ash Barty detail in Iga Swiatek's 'ruthless' French Open act

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Pictured right to left is current and former women's World No.1 players Iga Swiatek and Ash Barty respectively.
Iga Swiatek's (right) vanquished French Open quarter-final opponent says the World No.1's game reminds her of retired Aussie champ Ash Barty. Pic: Getty

American Jessica Pegula has lavished praise on Iga Swiatek after being comprehensively dismantled by the World No.1 in their French Open quarter-final.

Swiatek extended her unbeaten run to 33 matches - the longest on tour since Serena Williams won 34 in a row in 2013 - when she thumped Pegula 6-3 6-2 at Roland Garros on Wednesday.

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The Pole moved one match ahead of Justine Henin's longest career winning streak, with only the Williams sisters (Venus in the lead with 35 consecutive wins) enjoying a longer streak this century.

The recently turned 21-year-old dominated her American opponent, her said Swiatek's game reminded her of former World No.1 Ash Barty.

Having also lost to the now-retired Barty in the Australian Open quarter-finals four months ago, Pegula was in a good position to offer perspective on their respective games.

"To be honest, she (Swiatek) kind of plays like a guy," Pegula said after the match.

"And, I mean that as, Ash (Barty) was a similar way, where they don't play like a typical girl where they hit kind of flat and the ball kind of goes through the court.

"She plays a little more unorthodox in the fact that she has, like, a really heavy forehand. But at the same time she also likes to step in and take it really early, and I think clay gives her more time, and I think it makes her forehand even harder to deal with."

Iga Swiatek cements status as world's best

The persistent pressure applied to opponents is another similarity Pegula sees between Swiatek and Barty.

"You get those few chances and you kind of feel it weighing on you that if you don't take advantage of it, you're like, 'Shoot, my chance was gone, and now I have to work so hard to either hold serve or get back in this game' or whatever it was," Pegula added.

"Mentally, that's also what they do so well."

Swiatek plays World No.20 Daria Kasatkina in one women's semi-final on Thursday, with American teen and World No.18 Coco Gauff taking on unseeded Italian Martina Trevisan in the other match.

Of the last four women in singles, only Swiatek has previously participated in the semi-finals of a major tournament, losing at that stage at the Australian Open in January and taking the title at the 2020 French Open when she was ranked outside the top 50.

Seen here, Poland's Iga Swiatek playing a shot against Jessica Pegula in their French Open quarter-final.
Poland's Iga Swiatek plays a shot against Jessica Pegula in their French Open quarter-final showdown at Roland Garros. Pic: Getty

"This year it's a little bit different, because I'm not an underdog," Swiatek said, "and everything has changed, honestly."

Kasatkina beat No. 29 Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in a match between two Russian players who will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon later this month because of that country's invasion of Ukraine.

They combined for 75 unforced errors, 50 by Kudermetova.

"It was a rollercoaster," said Kasatkina, who hadn't reached a major quarter-final in four years.

with AAP

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