Iga Swiatek’s 6-0, 6-0 demolition job leads march of French Open top seeds

Estimated read time 5 min read

After an opening week defined by Iga Swiatek’s grit, as she saved match point and recovered from the brink of defeat against a resurgent Naomi Osaka in her second-round match, the Pole’s bakery reopened with ruthless efficiency on Sunday as the best player in the world demolished ­Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0 to return to the French Open quarter-finals.

Even in matches with such emphatic scorelines, the final result is not always reflective of how competitive some can be. Sometimes the games are tight and competitive but the ­superior player just wins all of the points that matter.

This was not one of those matches. Across only 40 minutes, Swiatek destroyed the 41st-best female tennis player in the world. It was the ­shortest completed match of Swiatek’s career and Potapova won only 10 points. The Russian did not contest a deuce game and the closest she came to winning a game was at 30-30 in the second game. It was about as dominant a win as can be seen at grand-slam level.

“Comfortable,” Swiatek said, describing what it feels like to be in the zone. “You just go with it because there’s no point of ­changing anything. You just continue what you’ve been doing and what has been working. But, honestly, I was always focusing on the next point. I didn’t really look at what happened before. So that was probably also why I could be efficient.”

This is the fourth consecutive year that Swiatek has inflicted a double bagel on an opponent during the clay season and the second 6-0, 6-0 scoreline of her career at Roland Garros. Such is her notoriety for dismantling opponents, players following Swiatek on court now have to make sure they begin their warm-up routines early.

“Usually if you’re after her, you know it’s probably going to be a quick match,” said Coco Gauff, who followed Swiatek on to Court Philippe-Chatrier. “So I figured the match would probably go an hour 15, an hour at the quickest. I definitely wasn’t expecting 40 minutes [but] it didn’t really affect much because I kind of knew. We planned for it.”

Coco Gauff celebratesView image in fullscreen

As Swiatek continued her search for a third consecutive French Open title, she was joined in the ­quarter‑finals by the highest seeded players in the top half of the draw. She will next face Marketa Vondrousova, the Wimbledon champion and fifth seed, who defeated Olga Danilovic 6-4, 6-2. Gauff, the third seed, also won comfortably, beating Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1, 6-2, and she will face a resurgent Ons Jabeur, seeded eighth, who defeated Clara Tauson 6-4, 6-4.

In the men’s draw the third seed, Carlos Alcaraz, continued to build form and confidence as he easily beat Félix Auger-Aliassime, the 21st seed, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals. He will face the ninth seed, ­Stefanos ­Tsitsipas, who demonstrated his mental toughness by recovering to defeat Matteo Arnaldi 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-2. Arnaldi had served for a two-set lead at 5-4 in the second set before Tsitsipas retrieved the break and took control.

A tough match awaits ­Tsitsipas, who has not been able to solve the challenge of facing Alcaraz so far in his career. The Spaniard leads the head-to-head 5-0 and he has ­smothered Tsitsipas with drop shots in most of their matches, with the Greek so often unable to read them. Right after his fourth-round win, Alcaraz said he knew the key to defeating Tsitsipas.

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Carlos AlcarazView image in fullscreen

“The matches that we’ve played, I won all of them,” he said. “So that’s what I wanted to mean when I said that I have the key against him. It doesn’t mean I have to play at my 50%. So I know that Stefanos is ­playing great, but I know tactically what I have to do in the match, which I’m not going to say, obviously, but I know what I have to do in the match.”

While most top male ­players avoid doubles because of the best‑of‑five‑sets singles format, this week ­Tsitsipas committed to the triple crown in Paris. In addition to entering the doubles draw with his doubles specialist brother, Petros, he has also entered the mixed doubles draw with his girlfriend, Paula Badosa.

Tsitsipas said in recent days: “­Playing doubles and mixed doubles, it is something that you think: ‘No one does it. Why should you do it? I realised after thinking about it that [I am] in a phase of my life where tennis really brings me joy and pleasure, and [I] want to be here and spend time with [my] loved ones also, but also focus professionally.”

On Sunday evening, Jannik Sinner, the second seed, recovered from a set and a break down to reach the quarter-finals with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 win over Corentin Moutet, the last Frenchman in the draw.

Source: theguardian.com

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