Swiatek, who made 11 unforced errors in the first set, finished the match with a whopping 40 – including 19 in the final set alone.
After winning just one game in the second stanza, Swiatek’s frustration was increasingly visible as the match entered the final set and her back-court game deserted her.
She dropped serve in the very first game on a double fault.
In the third game, she tried mixing things up and rushing forward, but did so on the wrong shot; Halep calmly slotted a passing shot down the line.
Swiatek looked completely out of ideas, but fought admirably, briefly rediscovered her feel on the forehand wing, and smacked back-to-back winners to break Halep and level scores at 2-2.
Yet four straight unforced errors brought her undone in the very next game.
It was a deficit she would not recover from, although she did force Halep to serve for the match after taking three balls out of the air for winners to hold serve in the penultimate game.
Halep served out the match without dropping a point, setting up a meeting with the “legend”.
“She's the best,” Halep smiled when told she would meet Williams in the quarterfinals.