MELBOURNE, Australia — Iga Swiatek went into her first-round Australian Open match with robust recollections of what a tricky go of it she had towards Jule Niemeier the final time they met. So the No. 1-ranked Swiatek got here in prepared for one more tussle, and presumably one other three-setter, however grabbed the final 4 video games to beat Niemeier 6-4, 7-5 on Monday in Rod Laver Enviornment.
Decided, Swiatek stated, to “take into consideration what I may do to push her again,” the 21-year-old from Poland took management from the baseline together with her forehand late to enhance to 15-1 in openers at Grand Slam tournaments, a .938 profitable share that leads lively girls.
After they confronted one another within the US Open’s fourth spherical in September, Swiatek wanted to come back again from a set and a break down earlier than getting previous Niemeier in three units en path to claiming a 3rd main trophy.
On Monday, Niemeier — a 22-year-old German who’s ranked 69th and was a Wimbledon quarterfinalist final yr — broke to start the second set, led it 5-3 and served for it at 5-4. However Swiatek smacked an enormous forehand to drive one error and earn a break level, then did the identical to transform it.
Swiatek broke once more with yet one more error pressured by a forehand to finish the match. She raised her proper fist, regarded towards her coach and sports activities psychologist within the stands and let loose a yell. When Swiatek sat on the sideline, she closed her eyes and breathed deeply.
How shut was this one? Swiatek made solely two extra winners (20-18) and only one fewer unforced error (29-28).
The proprietor of three main titles, and a semifinalist on the Australian Open a yr in the past, Swiatek now will face 84th-ranked Camila Osorio.