GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) — Iga Swiatek departed the WTA Finals with a win after spoiling Paula Badosa's birthday 7-5, 6-4 on Monday.
The Polish player couldn't advance from her group after losing her first two singles but got to finish her two-title season with a smile. She also ended Badosa's eight-match winning streak.
Swiatek, the youngest player at 20 in the eight-women field, came from a break down in each set.
“I think it was a really solid match from me. I’m pretty happy that I had a chance to show my tennis finally, overcome all these factors around, just play the game”, said Swiatek. “For sure this tournament was special. Playing three days with such high-quality players, it’s hard. I hope my next time is going to be a little bit more lucky for me”.
Badosa, 24 on Monday, had already qualified first in their group and will face Spanish compatriot Garbiñe Muguruza in the semifinals.
“I was quite focused, thinking about the match I have tomorrow. It’s an important one”, said Badosa, who is looking forward to facing Muguruza, a player she used to idolize. “I think it’s amazing to have two Spanish players. For me it was already a dream to be here, so you can imagine how I feel to play the semifinals and against her”.
Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari played the late match on Monday, with the winner going to the semifinals to face Anett Kontaveit.
The semifinals are on Tuesday and the final is set for Wednesday at Centro Panamericano de Tenis in Zapopan, a suburb of Guadalajara.
Swiatek lost her only previous meeting with Badosa in the second round of the Tokyo Olympics.
Badosa won the first titles of her career this year in Belgrade and Indian Wells, and is among six players to have made their top-10 debut this season.
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