Swiatek cruises past Canada's Fernandez, to face Azarenka in Adelaide

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  • Victoria Azarenka
    Victoria Azarenka
    Belarusian tennis player
  • Iga Swiatek
    Polish tennis player
  • Leylah Fernandez
    Leylah Fernandez
    Canadian female tennis player
  • Denis Shapovalov
    Denis Shapovalov
    Israeli-born Canadian tennis player
Leylah Fernandez of Canada hits a forehand in her match against Iga Swiatek of Poland at the 2022 Adelaide International on Thursday. Swiatek defeated Fernandez in straight sets, advancing to the quarter-final. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images - image credit)
Leylah Fernandez of Canada hits a forehand in her match against Iga Swiatek of Poland at the 2022 Adelaide International on Thursday. Swiatek defeated Fernandez in straight sets, advancing to the quarter-final. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images - image credit)

Defending champion Iga Swiatek made short work of U.S. Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez in a dominant 6-1 6-2 win at the Adelaide International on Thursday to set up a quarter-final against two-times Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka.

Swiatek, the 2020 Roland Garros winner, took control of the match from 1-1 in the first set and capitalized on Fernandez's misfiring serve to wrap up the victory in 75 minutes at the Australian Open warm-up event.

The Pole hit 17 winners against her 19-year-old opponent and did not face a break point as she extended her winning streak in Adelaide to seven matches.

"I was playing against a younger girl, which is pretty new for me," Swiatek, 20, said. "She's pretty talented and she's a Grand Slam finalist, so I knew it was going to be tricky.

"I felt really confident and I'm pretty happy that I could finish it really quickly and I didn't let go of focus."

Swiatek, who defeated Belinda Bencic to win last year's title, will face Azarenka in the next round after the former world number one secured a 6-3 7-5 victory over Australian wildcard Priscilla Hon at Memorial Drive.

Hon had stunned Petra Kvitova in the first round on Monday and threatened a tiebreak in the second set against Azarenka but the Belarusian wrapped up the win in just under 90 minutes.

Swiatek said she was looking forward to her match against Azarenka, who won both her Grand Slam titles at Melbourne Park.

"I love playing such an experienced player because it's always a challenge," Swiatek said of the 32-year-old.

"I have a different mindset when I play against players like that because I watched them when I was younger. It shows me my progress, but also I have huge amount of respect for them."

Sixth seed Sofia Kenin saved three match points to beat local favorite Ajla Tomljanovic 3-6 7-6(5) 6-3 in two hours and 30 minutes in a late-night contest, setting up a quarter-final meeting with world number one Ash Barty.

Japan's Misaki Doi beat Russian Anastasia Gasanova 7-6(4) 6-3 and will face Slovenian Kaja Juvan in the last eight.

Auger-Aliassime leads Canada ATP Cup semis

Felix Auger-Aliassime sent Canada into the semifinals of the ATP Cup on Thursday by beating third-ranked Alexander Zverev 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Denis Shapovalov had set up Auger-Aliassime's clincher over Germany by downing Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3 in the first singles match.

Canada will play defending champion Russia on Saturday. The other semifinalists, Poland and Spain, play on Friday.

WATCH | Shapovalov downs Struff at ATP Cup:

"It feels good to beat Zverev," the 11th-ranked Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview. "He's a great player. He's beaten me a couple of times before, so I'm happy I was able to get the job done today, especially for the team ... to finish off strong with this group and to win it and to be through to the semis is special."

The 21-year-old Quebec native squandered four break points at 3-3 in the second set but said he stayed positive.

"Trust me, it's not always easy to stay positive out there. I was able to do so today and I think that's why I was able to win in the third set," he said.

Canada advanced with a 2-1 win after Germany salvaged a doubles victory.

Earlier, Russia beat Italy 2-1 to advance to the semifinals unbeaten.

Daniil Medvedev and Roman Safiullin stepped up for Russia in the decisive doubles, overcoming Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner 5-7, 6-4, 10-5 to clinch the victory.

Sinner gave Italy the early lead with a 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over Safiullin, but the second-ranked Medvedev leveled the contest with a 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4 win over Berrettini.

"The first set I was in control and it's tricky because you think that things will continue to go your way but that's not the case when you're up against a top 10 player," Medvedev said. "I made some bad decisions in the second set so I tried to learn from that in the third. I served well throughout the match and that helped me."

Britain staged a come-from-behind win in doubles to complete a 2-1 victory over the United States, but it was later eliminated when Canada advanced.

Jamie Murray and Dan Evans rallied from a set and a service break down to beat Taylor Fritz and John Isner 6-7 (3), 7-5, 10-8.

"We were just hustling and we kept trying to get the ball back in play and start using our skills after that," Murray said. "At 4-2 we got a bit of momentum and came down to a tiebreak, which is what it comes down to on a doubles court so many times."

The final is scheduled for Sunday.

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