With Swiatek and Sabalenka out, Gauff prepares for the China Open semifinal.

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Oct. 6( Reuters )- Coco Gauff defeated Maria Sakkari 6-6 2 6-4 in the China Open quarterfinal on Friday to set up a semi-final matchup with second seed Iga Swiatek, extending her winning streak to 16 victories, the longest on the WTA Tour this season.

Although Swiatek has won seven of their eight meetings, Gauff did prevail in their most recent one, the Cincinnati semi-final.

It will be a difficult match. I’m really excited and focused to play tomorrow despite our difficult game in Cincinnati, Gauff said.

Gauff, who defeated Sakkari in the fourth seeded Greek for the first time at this year’s U.S. Open, only needed an hour and 20 minutes to win.

Gauff continued,” I believe I handled the pressure points well, and yes, I believe every game has improved for me in this tournament.

The 19-year-old American, who is currently ranked third in the world, will face Swiatek in Saturday’s semifinal after the latter defeated Caroline Garcia 6-6-7 ( 8 ) 7-6-6 ( 5 ) 6-1.

Swiatek remarked,” For sure it was really intense.” ” We moved along very quickly.” Sometimes there was no time for reflection or analysis. I’m glad I made extensive use of my intuition.

Swiatek narrowly avoided losing the quarter-final in straight sets after Garcia won the first set after a tie-break, but he returned to force another tie.

Swiatek emerged victorious, breaking Garcia’s serve three times in the third set to cap it all off.

Every ball was counted in both of the first sets. Swiatek continued,” I’m glad I could just go for it in the third.

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Aryna Sabalenka, the first-place finisher in the world, lost 7 – 5 – 6 – 2 to fifth seed Elena Rybakina and was unable to advance to the semifinals.

In contrast to Sabalenka’s four aces, Rybakina served 12 and four times broke the top seed.

Rybakina remarked,” I served really well, so I’m really pleased with my performance today.”

Rybakina won five straight games in the second set after an evenly matched first set.

Rybakina, who lost to Sabalenka in this year’s Australian Open final, will face Liudmila Samsonova in the semifinals on Saturday after defeating Jelena Ostapenko, the seeded 13th seed, 6-3-6-2.

Samsonova and Rybakina have previously met three times, each time winning.

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