Iga Swiatek withstood an early challenge from Caroline Garcia and continued her winning streak ahead of the Australian Open by securing Poland a place in the United Cup final.
The world No. 1 won Saturday’s match 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, tidying up her game to run away after France star Garcia struck an early blow.
It was the first time since October last year that the 22-year-old had lost a set, which also happened to be against Garcia.
But the Pole showed a ruthless edge, brushing off that setback and extending her streak of consecutive games without defeat to 15.
Swiatek’s victory followed men’s world No. 9 Hubert Hurkacz’s 6-3, 7-5 win over Adrian Mannarino, giving Poland an unassailable 2-0 lead with the mixed doubles still to come.
Katarzyna Kawa and Jan Zielinski completed Poland’s 3-0 win with a 6-3, 6-3 win in the mixed doubles and secured their place in the final on Sunday.
Poland will face the winners Australia or Germany in the final after the teams face off in Sydney later on Saturday.
“Mentally I had to make a big adjustment because I was impatient,” Swiatek said.
“I made bad decisions and needed to be more calm.
“After the break after the first set I came back more focused and so I’m pretty proud of myself.”
Swiatek attributed her slow start to the change of location.
Poland had spent the early rounds of the United Cup in Perth and the reigning French Open champion said the Ken Rosewall Arena surface took some getting used to.
“Even though the surface is very similar, I would say I was a little out of control with my rhythm,” Swiatek said.
“I just knew I needed some time to let my brain work on it.”
Aside from a difficult second set against world number 22 Mannarino, Hurkacz had a much easier run, securing his victory in an hour and 41 minutes.
Hurkacz won 31 of 36 points on his first serve and hit 15 aces past Mannarino.
“Adrian is a really good competitor, it’s not easy to play against him,” Hurkacz said.
“You have to be patient and run well and it’s a tough battle with him out there, so I’m really happy with the performance.”
Poland – the competition’s top seeds – only lost one game in the entire tournament.
They reached the semi-finals of last year’s tournament and will be hoping for chances against Germany or an Australian team featuring Alex de Minaur and Alja Tomljanovic.
World No. 7 Alexander Zverev is de Minaur’s next target after Australia’s No. 1 beat Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
But Zverev has a 6-1 lead over the world number 12 in the direct duel.
“The last time we played was Rome 2022, so that was a while ago,” Zverev said.
“Things have changed a little. I think he’s gotten a lot better and is getting closer to the top 10 too.
“He will be very motivated and the whole team, Australia, will be very motivated.”