World No.1 tennis player Iga Swiatek, who made a triumphant return to competition at the Qatar Open with a 6-0, 6-1 win over No.42 Danielle Collins of the USA, has paved her way into the semifinals after her quarterfinal opponent Belinda Bencic withdrew from the tournament due to fatigue.
Swiatek was set to face Bencic in Thursday's quarterfinals, but the Abu Dhabi champion withdrew from the tournament after notching a physical, hard-fought victory over Victoria Azarenka.
The Pole will now face either No.4 seed Coco Gauff or Veronika Kudermetova in the semifinals on Friday. Last season, Swiatek kicked off her 37-match win streak in Doha, where she captured her first WTA 1000 hard-court title.
Playing her first match since the Australian Open, the reigning champion showed no signs of rust against Collins, as she built a 3-0 lead after just 10 minutes and pocketed the opening set in just 21 minutes.
With the American struggling to find her range, Swiatek lost just four points in the opening set. Collins was unable to hit a winner in the opening set while misfiring on 13 unforced errors.
Collins levelled up in the second set, snapping Swiatek's nine-game run to get on the board at 3-1. But Swiatek refused to let her own level drop, as she steadily marched toward the finish line to seal the win after 53 minutes.
"I felt pretty confident," Swiatek was quoted by WTA. "I'm happy that I was kind of composed and from the beginning till the end pretty focused and disciplined with tactics. I didn't really let Danielle get into the rhythm. I wanted to be aggressive. I'm pretty happy that I did that well."