Iga Swiatek crashed to a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 defeat by eighth seed Russian Veronika Kudermetova in the quarter finals of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Friday.
The top seed, playing in her second match since a fourth-round defeat at the US Open that saw her drop to No. two in the world rankings, sprayed the errors around in the opening set as Kudermetova grabbed a double break before going 4-0 up.
Swiatek finally got on board with a hold and looked to mount a comeback but could not prevent world number 19 Kudermetova from taking a set off her for the first time in five meetings.
Kudermetova surrendered the second set rather tamely, but the 26-year-old found herself ahead in the decider as Swiatek gifted her an early break with a double fault.
The Russian held her nerve towards the end of the contest and finished it off with a superb serve.
“I tried to just believe I can beat her. Today it happened. I’m really happy I managed to switch (the head-to-head) and win one match,” said Kudermetova, who took full advantage of the 50 unforced errors from Swiatek’s racket.
Up next for Kudermetova is Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who reached her first semi-final since her run to the 2021 French Open final with a 6-2, 7-5 win over fellow Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Second seed Jessica Pegula dropped her serve in the opening game of her encounter with Daria Kasatkina before producing a ruthless display to seal a 6-1, 6-0 victory in 59 minutes and ease into her seventh semi-final of the season.
Pegula meets Guadalajara champion Maria Sakkari, after the fourth seed beat fifth seed Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-2.