Iga Swiatek will get a chance for quick revenge when she plays an Indian Wells Master semi-final against fellow Grand Slam champion Elena Rybakina.
The world No. 1 Pole continued to roll over 2003 opponent as she delivered a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of Romanian Sorana Cirstea on Thursday in a lop-sided quarter-final.
Wimbledon winner Rybakina – Australian Open finalist against Aryna Sabalenka this year – , who holds a Kazakh passport but is Russian-born, booked her final four spot 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-4 over Czech Karolina Muchova.
Swiatek took 83 minutes to reach her fourth semi-final this season, losing serve twice but breaking five times.
One of the few blemishes on Swiatek’s record this season is her straight-sets loss in January to Rybakina in the Australian Open fourth round.
Swiatek, who holds two Roland Garros and one US Open trophy, has done well against fellow champions this week, putting out former US Open holders Bianca Andreescu and Emma Raducanu in the previous two rounds.
The WTA No. 1 is ready for anything as she edges closer to the title match on Sunday.
“I’m just playing better and better every match. I’m ready for anything. I know that I can return really well.
“If I can (get into) the rally, I can take advantage there.”
Rybakina has now won four matches here without losing a set; she is the only woman representing Kazakhstan to get this far here.
Against the 76th-ranked Muchova, Rybakina needed to battle for two and three-quarter hours.
““It was very tough today,” the winner said. “I didn’t start that well. I was a bit slower than usual.
“Karolina, she played really well. But then in important moments, I played well.”
Rybakina finished with 44 winners and 32 unforced errors against her opponent, a two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist who reached the semis in 2021 in Melbourne.