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Tennis: Świątek turns tables on Pegula, reaches San Diego final

World number one Iga Świątek emerged red hot from a rain delay on Saturday to beat American Jessica Pegula 4-6 6-2 6-2 and reach the San Diego Open final.

The Polish athlete will now face either American Danielle Collins or Croatia’s Donna Vekić for the title after their semi-final clash was suspended following three rain delays and scheduled to resume on Sunday.

Collins was two games away from a hard-fought victory when showers forced players off for a final time with a 4-6 6-4 4-2 lead over Vekić.

Reigning US Open champion Świątek sprinted out to a 4-2 lead in the first set before Pegula roared back, reeling off four straight games and capturing the first set on the Pole’s 11th forehand error of the frame.

Rain postponed the start of the second set by more than an hour and the break appeared to boost Świątek, who was sharper in the second set, breaking Pegula with a forehand winner on the line to level the contest at a set apiece.

In the third set, the Pole raced to the net to catch up with a drop shot and sent a backhand down the line for a 4-2 lead she would not relinquish, improving to 4-1 lifetime record against Pegula when the American’s shot landed in the bottom of the net on match point.

✨ Into her 9th final of 2022 ✨

No.1 seed @iga_swiatek needed three sets this time around in her win over Pegula!#SanDiegoOpen

— wta (@WTA) October 16, 2022
“I was leading in the first set so I knew I had the game to win this match but I lost my focus in the middle of the set,” Świątek said in an on-court interview.

“I did not want to make that mistake again so I came back and I wanted to be really composed and not lose those important moments,” she said, adding that she spent the rain delay doing crossword puzzles.

Świątek, 21, will look to claim her eighth title of the season on Sunday.

With her run to the semi-finals of the WTA 500 event, Pegula will break into the world top five when rankings are released after the final.

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