World No. 1 Iga Swiatek comes from behind to defeat Jule Niemeier, advancing to US Open quarterfinals
LAS VEGAS — Iga Swiatek’s first-round win over Jule Niemeier was a moment everyone would love to see again.
Swiatek, the U.S. national amateur champion, broke Niemeier early with a forehand at the net, then followed with a forehand that struck out over the net to give the American a 4-1, 6-1, 6-2 lead in the second round.
“First, I had no idea it was coming,” Swiatek said, “so I tried to play it around but after a while, it felt pretty comfortable and my forehand started going up and down.”
Swiatek, who lost in the first round at Wimbledon and in the fourth round at the Australian Open, played the last six service games between the breaks, a stretch that included six double faults.
Swiatek, 23, had struggled to make the transition from women’s tennis to the men’s game, but she’s gotten more comfortable. She was up a break in the second set against Niemeier after winning the first six games of the second set. She only dropped the first service game.
“I think I am feeling better and stronger, it’s been a while since I felt like I did,” she said. “It’s probably a bit of my mind playing around. I am playing better on the court, which is great, but I think it’s just that little bit of mental error.”
Swiatek won her first grand slam match against No. 21-seeded Jelle Kruger in the quarterfinals of the 2016 U.S. Open. Now, she hopes to do it again in a return to her home grand slam.
She’s making the trip to the US Open for the first time as a qualifier