HomeSportsIga Swiatek loses semifinal to Jessica Pegula amidst Cotton Eye Joe mayhem

Iga Swiatek loses semifinal to Jessica Pegula amidst Cotton Eye Joe mayhem

Iga Swiatek has now won five and lost three of her eight encounters with Jessica Pegula

World number one Iga Swiatek lost to Jessica Pegula in the semifinals of the Canadian Open 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-4.

The match was disrupted in the second set tiebreaker when the Rednex novelty classic Cotton Eye Joe began blaring from the field’s speakers during play.

Reigning French and US Open champion Swiatek made an error-strewn performance against the American.

“I felt like I was in control. It feels great and there’s no better way to earn it, right?” Pegula said.

“She played really great tennis at the end of the second set and in the third. So she made sure I deserved it.”

On the Cotton Eye Joe incident, Pegula added, “I just thought it was funny. I’ve never experienced that, let alone with ‘Cotton-Eyed Joe’.

“I was like, ‘Is this really happening?’ Of all the songs. It was just, what’s going on?”

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Swiatek’s serve was broken 11 times by fourth seed Pegula, who took victory over the 22-year-old Pole in two hours and 30 minutes in Montreal.

Pegula will face Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina or Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova as third seed in Sunday’s final.

A chaotic first set opened with five consecutive breaks of service before Pegula finally managed to hold on and take a 4-2 lead.

The 29-year-old American backed it up with a break against the four-time Grand Slam winner before serving for the set and finishing the set with a stunning center-court ace.

Pegula was on course to win the second set when she served for the match at 5–4, only for Swiatek to force a tiebreak in which she rattled off five consecutive points to tie the match and set up a decider.

With Pegula 4-3 in the breaker, the sound of Cotton Eye Joe’s chorus inexplicably erupted as Swiatek looked poised to finish a smash, leading to the point being replayed.

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Swiatek then broke Pegula twice early in the final set to take a 4–2 lead, after which her service play unraveled, allowing the world number three to level.

A confident service game put Pegula ahead 5-4 and on match point Swiatek hit a forehand wide to secure her opponent a spot in the final.

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