World No. 1 Iga Świątek was utterly dominant in her straight sets victory against Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan, winning 6-0 6-1 in a mere 49 minutes to reach the fourth round of the US Open.
In what was surely one of the most one-sided grand slam encounters in recent history, Juvan won just 15 points all match against a ruthless Świątek, as the Pole continues to exert her dominance as the favorite to lift the title at Flushing Meadows.
Świątek has given up just nine games in her three matches so far in New York – seven of those coming in the comparatively difficult match against Daria Saville in the second round – with even her close friend Juvan not immune to being served up a bagel, the 20th of the year for the relentless Świątek.
Świątek and Juvan have been close since playing together as teenagers at the junior level, but there was no time for sentiment as the Pole got straight to business.
She had tied up the first set in just 24 minutes and raced to a 3-0 lead in the second before Juvan won her only game of the match.
The crowd inside the Louis Armstrong Stadium gave the Slovenian a warm round of applause after she made it 3-1, but it wasn’t long before Świątek finished the match up.
“I didn’t like the fact that I was winning against my best friend, but I knew that I had to be really focused and not let myself think about that because it was like playing against a sister. We’ve known each other for so long,” Świątek said after her win.
“I don’t have many friends, but she’s my best friend. That was the toughest part.”
Świątek is looking practically unbeatable as she bids to defend her US Open title, making just five unforced errors in the near perfect performance on Friday. She will face either Jelena Ostapenko or American Bernarda Pera for a place in the quarterfinals.
In the meantime, the top seed is still getting used to just how good she is.
“Honestly, I kind of have to learn to find more joy in that,” she added.
“I talked with Roger [Federer] about that last week. He says the best way to approach it is to really embrace it, to be proud and happy about your results.
“I’m always looking to the future, trying to do the best job another day, so I’m glad I have people on my team who kind of remind me of the good work that I’m doing. It’s good to appreciate the process and the progress.”