Iga Swiatek loses a set to extend French Open winning streak

PARIS – Players who lose a set don’t usually make the headlines Grand Slam. This does constitute news French Open Mondaybecause the player is Do not. 1-ranked per Swiatek And that happened to her for over a month.

The results of the match are also worth mentioning: she led China’s No. 74 Zheng Qinwen 3-0, 5-2 in the opening set of the fourth round, scoring one point five times, but could not reach an agreement. Swatek has won 20 sets in a row, having won 48 of the previous 49.

In the end, what really matters is that 2020 champion Swatek doesn’t lose another set on this cloudy night to return to the quarter-finals with a 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-2 victory over the tenacious Zheng Zhong At Roland Garros, her winning streak reached 32 games.

“When I took the lead, I was happy to be back after a very frustrating first set,” Swatek said. “I’m very happy with myself still playing in the tournament.”

Swatek regrouped by changing tactics—she sped up her forehand instead of absorbing Zheng’s power—and, in a less traditional way, decided to change her rhythm. No, really: She changed the song she sang in her head during the game.

“It was Dua Lipa,” Swiatek said, “and it was a guilty pleasure.”

She has won her past five matches and is unbeaten since February, the longest stretch since Serena Williams completed 34 in 2013. 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams missed nearly a year on tour, while Swatek’s predecessor tops the list is two-time Grand Slam champion Ash Barty, who recently retired to play in women’s. There is no dominant figure in tennis who can challenge it.

Next to try to stop Swatek was No. 11 seed Jessica Pegura, who defeated Romania’s Irina-Camilia Begu 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to advance Her third Grand Slam quarterfinal was also her first in Paris. Last week, she was fined $10,000 when she threw a racket that bounced into the stands and grazed a child in the front seat.

Pegula, who went 2-3 at the French Open earlier this year, saw both teams take on Swatek, who beat her on hard courts at the Miami Open in March.

“Sometimes you say, ‘Oh, I wish I didn’t play her in the quarterfinals. I wish I played one of the other guys and didn’t see her so early,'” Pegula said. “But at the same time, it’s a great opportunity for a great win and a great story.”

The other women’s quarterfinal on Wednesday will be between two Russians: No. 20 Daria Kasatkina and No. 29 Veronika Kudermetova. They were teammates of the team that won the Billie Jean Gold Cup last year — Russia was banned from trying to defend the title because of its invasion of Ukraine — and they’ve known each other since childhood, bickering as early as teenagers as in 2011.

Pegula, whose parents own the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, reached the quarterfinals with two other American women.

No. 18 seed Coco Gough, 18, and 2017 U.S. Open champion and 2018 French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens will meet on Tuesday in the other women’s match against No. 17, 19-year-old Laila Fernandez. 54-year-old Italian Martina Trevisan from Canada.

The most anticipated men’s quarterfinal will be the 59th career meeting between the two Defending champion Novak Djokovic and 13-time champion Rafael Nadal Tuesday night. Also on Tuesday, No. 3 Alexander Zverev will play No. 6 Carlos Alcaraz, a 19-year-old Spaniard.

Wednesday’s men’s match is No. 7 Andrei Rublev against 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, and 19-year-old Holger Rune of Denmark against 23-year-old No. 8 of Norway Caspar Rudd. Cilic swept 2021 U.S. Open champion Daniel Medvedev 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in his final match Monday, after men’s No. 2 seed Tsitsipas left earlier in the day 4th seed. Rune eliminated 2021 runner-up Tsitsipas 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 with Alcalás still on the court, the first time in 28 years that two teenagers have played in any major. Reaching the men’s quarter-final slam in a slam tournament.

Zheng is 19 and Swatek is 20. Both are capable of playing like veterans.

However, Zheng said she found it “hard to show my level” as she was taped by a coach during a 3-0 medical timeout in the second set due to stomach cramps and problems with her right leg. That was during Swatek’s eight straight games.

When it was over, Swiatek screamed “Come on!” She clenched her right fist at the excited faces in the guest box.

“Of course, these games are emotional for everyone,” she said, “because the games are intense and not easy.”

It’s been a while since she was like that.

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