World No. 1 Iga Swiatek comes from behind to defeat Jule Niemeier, advancing to US Open quarterfinals for the first time in almost two decades.
LONDON — Iga Swiatek is in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open for the first time in almost two decades.
Swiatek, who won three straight titles at the British Open after beating Karol Kuksa in the first round last year, defeated Jule Niemeier 9-7, 7-6(6), 6-1, 6-2 Sunday to reach the final eight for the first time. She also earned first-round, second-round and quarterfinal victories over past major winners to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2005.
“I want to compete with these players, win some tournaments, not have too much luck,” said Swiatek, who has won nine singles titles at the U.S. Open. “I have been here just not to win but to win some tournaments. I won the British Open last year and this year I am on my way.”
The 28-year-old swam on the opening day at Wimbledon, where she has been seeded No. 1 in women’s singles. But then lost to Ksenia Pervak on the third day, and she began to lose her footing. But she rebounded from a 1-4 loss to qualifier Jelena Jankovic here a few weeks ago to win five of her last seven matches.
Swiatek lost in the quarterfinals at the last U.S. Open, when she was 23.
“I have learned from the defeats I have had, and I have found my way and my way helped me win here in the past and I am ready for this moment,” Swiatek said. “I saw a lot of positives, my mental strength is good, my strategy is good and I am working hard to make that big comeback.”
After Niemeier, the 20th seed, retired with an injury after 10 games, both of Swiatek’s next opponents came from the bottom half of the draw. They were both former top-five players in the world: qualifier Yanina Wickmayer fell to Yan Zi in a three-set first-round loss, and qualifier Nicole Gibbs, who