Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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WATCH: Iga Swiatek defeats Madison Keys in the quarterfinals of 2022 Indian Wells.

All tournament long, Iga Swiatek has been making a habit of dropping her opening set and then hunkering down for a dramatic comeback at the BNP Paribas Open. On Wednesday evening, the highest seed in the women’s draw decided to have herself an early night instead.

Almost completely untouchable across a scintillating 56 minutes on Stadium 1, Swiatek imposed her game to knock out No. 25th seed Madison Keys—and she did so at the expense of just one game, in an impressive 6-1, 6-0 rout.

“I was getting tired a little bit, so I wanted to make it quick,” No. 3 seed Swiatek joked during the on-court interview.

Into her fourth semifinal of the season, Swiatek books a blockbuster clash with Simona Halep—who eased into the last four with a similarly imperious 51-minute, 6-1, 6-1 victory of her own over Petra Martic. It will be Halep and Swiatek’s first meeting outside of a Grand Slam: the Romanian will bring a 2-1 lead in her head-to-head record over Swiatek (1-0 on hard courts).

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Swiatek improved her WTA-leading record to 18-3 on the season.

Swiatek improved her WTA-leading record to 18-3 on the season.

Swiatek scored an emphatic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 comeback over Angelique Kerber to reach the quarterfinals, after pulling off similar come-from-behind wins over Anhelina Kalinina and Clara Tauson.

In fact, Swiatek has won five matches from a set down this year, more than the previous two years combined—and she still leads the women’s tour with a 18-3 record on the season. The Doha champion and Australian Open semifinalist has made a statement with all of those victories coming on hard courts, as she gradually shakes off the clay-court specialist label.

Swiatek never allowed Keys to get comfortable on Stadium One, neutralizing both her big-hitting game and the fans who were eager to get behind the only American woman standing in the quarterfinals. The Pole’s aggressive play forced Keys to go for bigger shots and rushed her into errors, quickly going down 5-0 in the opening set.

With her back against the wall, Keys did everything in her power to carve out a hold of serve and get her name on the scoreboard at 5-1, even holding a break point that could have served as a turning point. But Swiatek held firm, and served out the set with confidence. That would be the only break point that Swiatek would face, and she reeled off another six games in a row to seal the victory.

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