Iga Swiatek advanced to the semifinals by defeating veteran Kaiya Kanepi

Iga Svitech came down from a set to advance to her first Australian Open semifinal on Wednesday after battling Daniel Collins in the last-four against veteran Kaya Kanepi. Only 20, the seventh-ranked Polish seventh-ranked player proved very resilient, finishing the unseeded Estonian’s amazing Melbourne Park run 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 in 3 hours 1 minute at the Road Laver Arena. She will play against Collins on Thursday to advance to the finals, beating American No. 27 Alice Cornet 7-5, 6-1 to match the exploits at the Australian Open from 2019.

Svitech is in its second week for the sixth consecutive Grand Slam after winning the 2020 French Open, but this is the first time it has reached the last four from Paris Clay.

Ninth-ranked, she is now projected to move up to fourth in the world and could go as high as three if she wins the title.

“I had so many break points (nine) in the first set that I felt like I missed my chances,” Sweetke said.

“I was very upset and I should focus on the next issue. And that’s exactly what I did in the second set.

“They are easy things to do but they are working. I felt like she was playing so fast that I couldn’t get tight. So I basically had to finish my forehand. That was enough.”

Canepy, ranked 115, became a professional in 1999, two years before Svitech was born.

But despite a 16-year gap, Estonia struggled as it looked to make its first Grand Slam semifinal since playing its first match in 2006.

They both held the server 2-2 in the opening set but Switech was more dangerous, earning a high percentage of returns for making three break points without converting any.

With Switech winning more than 80 percent of its first service points, Canepy needed to take advantage of the second serve.

The Estonian player used his time and slammed the forehand return to take a 4-3 lead in the seventh game.

Svitek saved four set points in the ninth game and an incredible four as she reached the line 64 minutes later before Canepa served for the set.

The Polish star’s day was ruined when she broke first in the second set, but she was not ready to give up. She broke straight back and then grabbed and Kanepi struck again to take a 3-1 lead.

But the ninth Sweetech double fault helped Kanepi break back and the set went into a tiebreaker, where the pole re-emerged.

Svitech broke again 3-2 before they exchanged an early break in the decisive set. She seemed determined to clean the house but Kanepi made life difficult before ensuring a pole victory before the late break.

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