NEW YORK (AP) — Iga Swiatek dropped four points in a row in her U.S. Open quarterfinal against Jessica Pegula by missing shots, some wildly. So with Pegula up by a break at 3-2 and serving at 30-love, Swiatek walked over to the sideline in the middle of a game to swap out her white racket for another one.
The Arthur Ashe Stadium roof was open, the 70-degree air was as cool and dry as it’s been during a hot, humid tournament, and Swiatek figured maybe she should try a tighter string tension to see whether that would help control the ball a little more.
Whether that actually did the trick, or simply put Swiatek’s mind at ease, the move certainly swung the direction of the match. The No. 1-ranked Swiatek grabbed 14 of the next 15 points and, while closing things out was not easy, she reached her first semifinal at Flushing Meadows by pulling out a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory over Pegula on Wednesday night.