Iga Świątek, who is currently ranked second, defeated Coco Gauff in the China Open semifinals on Saturday with a convincing 6-2, 6-3 win, putting an end to Gauff’s impressive 16-match winning streak that she had carried since the US Open.
This was the first time 19-year-old Gauff had lost since reaching the quarter-finals in Montreal. During that time, she won titles in Cincinnati and at Flushing Meadows.
On Sunday, Świątek will face off against No. 22-ranked Liudmila Samsonova in the final, as the Russian defeated fifth-seeded Elena Rybakina 7-6 (7), 6-3.
The player from Poland only had four mistakes in the first set, maintaining steady pressure on Gauff’s serve. They also managed to make a crucial break at 3-1, allowing them to comfortably win the set in 40 minutes.
Świątek continued her dominant hold on the match, taking an early lead in the second set by breaking Gauff’s serve and going up 2-0.
Gauff took a pause in the game to have her right shoulder examined, but this did not stop Świątek from winning and increasing her lead against her opponent to 8-1.
“I am very pleased with how I played,” Świątek stated. “I feel like I have the freedom to play again, so I am extremely happy. It has been a long time since I have felt this way. This experience will stay with me throughout my career, reminding me that even when faced with challenges, I can overcome them with determination and hard work.”
Samsonova continued her impressive streak against Rybakina with a straight-sets victory, securing her second WTA 1000 final appearance of the year.
The initial break was made by the player from Russia, giving them a 5-4 lead. However, they quickly lost this advantage as the first set ended in a tiebreak. Samsonova was able to secure the set on her third attempt.
Samsonova, after hitting 33 winners, ultimately secured the lead in the second set with a crucial break, going up 5-4. She then served out the win in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
In the second round of the Shanghai Masters, top-seeded player Carlos Alcaraz defeated Gregoire Barrere with a score of 6-2, 7-5.
Alcaraz got off to a quick start against the 73rd-ranked French player, quickly taking a 4-0 lead in the first set which was a comfortable win for the Spaniard.
Alcaraz managed to maintain his lead in the second set, despite Barrere putting up a stronger performance. He ultimately secured a break and took a 6-5 lead. He then calmly served out the remainder of the match for the win.
Next up for Alcaraz is a match against either the 30th seed, Daniel Evans, or qualifier, Mikhail Kukushkin.
During his first appearance in Shanghai since claiming the title in 2019, Daniil Medvedev displayed his dominance as he defeated the 98th-ranked Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-3, earning his 60th victory of the season.
“I will do my utmost to perform well and strive for better results in the remaining tournaments of this season,” commented third-ranked player Medvedev on his chances of surpassing his 2021 record of 63 wins in a single season.
In the third round, the Russian competitor has the opportunity to achieve their 61st win by facing 26th-seeded Sebastian Korda.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, seeded fourth, defeated Rinky Hijikata, a qualifier, with a score of 6-4, 6-2. Meanwhile, Tommy Paul, seeded twelfth, moved on to the next round with a 6-3, 6-0 victory against Sebastian Ofner.
Jannik Sinner, the sixth seed, recently won the China Open final and continued his success with a 7-6 (7), 6-2 win against Marcos Giron. In the third round, the Italian player will face 25th-seeded Sebastian Baez.
Additional victors included 22nd-ranked Nicolas Jarry and Matteo Arnaldi prior to a weather interruption halting matches on the exterior courts until the following day.