World No.1 Iga Swiatek's unbeaten run through the Middle East this year -- and against Zheng Qinwen -- continued on Thursday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. 

The top seed and Doha champion needed 86 minutes to beat Zheng for a sixth straight time in their head-to-head matches and second time this year to move into the semifinals of the WTA 1000 event. Swiatek extend her winning streak in the Gulf region this year to seven matches. Four of Swiatek's wins against Zheng have come on hard courts. She also dropped five games against the 2023 WTA Most Improved Player of the Year when they met at the United Cup last month. 

Swiatek never lost serve against Zheng -- she saved all three break points she faced in the match -- and broke the World No.7's serve three times to advance to a semifinal meeting with either No.3 seed Coco Gauff or qualifier Anna Kalinskaya, who play in Thursday's fourth and final quarterfinal.

Swiatek speaks: Six wins against Zheng in less than two full calendar years has done little to dampen Swiatek's appreciation for the 21-year-old's talent. Swiatek posted a stat line of 17 winners to just 10 unforced errors in 17 games, more than enough to eek out a fourth hard-court win in her collection of wins against Zheng.

"She has great power, great topspin. You have to be ready for that," the World No.1 told reporters in her postmatch press conference. "She wants to really be proactive, so you have to keep up with the intensity. I've been doing that during our matches."

Match management: Zheng, to her credit, hit 19 winners to 18 unforced errors in the match -- but landed only 48% of her first serves. That proved to be the key statistic that gave Swiatek opportunities throughout the match. Zheng went just 9-for-24 on points behind her second serve. 

Swiatek won the first three games of the match -- saving a break point at 2-0 -- in what was a comprehensive set for the top seed. She denied Zheng the opportunity to get out in front early in set two by saving another break point in the third game (if converted, Zheng would've had a 3-1 lead) and sprinted to the finish line from there by winning the last four games.