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2022 French Open: Swiatek continues to impress as the dominos fall around her

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Roar Guru
27th May, 2022
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World number one Iga Swiatek continues to show why she has deserved the mantle as the top-ranked female player in the sport as she continues her merciless run through the French Open draw.

The soon-to-be 21-year-old brushed aside American Alison Riske in straight sets to advance to the third round, the scoreline reading 6-0, 6-2 – a mirror of her 6-2, 6-0 demolition of Lesia Tsurenko in the opening round.

In a clinical performance, the Pole delivered her fifteenth bagel set of the season, ten short of the record set by Serena Williams who baked 25 bagels in her dominant 2013 season in which she won 34 consecutive matches during the course of the year.

It was also her 30th consecutive victory dating back to February and she would be odds-on to add another five victories to that, as several of her projected obstacles continued to fall in the top half of the women’s draw.

While Swiatek continues to run riot on Tour, she saw her potential fourth round opponents Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko crash out within hours of each other.

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Halep won the first set of her clash against Zheng Qinwen but lost in three sets, while Ostapenko was beaten, also in three sets, by French veteran Alize Cornet.

The Romanian, who won the title in 2018, was seemingly in cruise control when she went up a break in the second set, only to suffer a self-admitted “panic attack” in the deciding third set for which she received treatment and struggled to breathe.

These results mean that Swiatek will not have to face a seeded player until the quarter-finals, while her prospective last eight opponent Karolina Pliskova also suffered a shock loss, going down to French wildcard Leolia Jeanjean in straight sets.

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The next-highest seed in the top half of the draw, Paula Badosa, overcame a second-set blip to defeat Kaja Juvan in three sets, while Madison Keys and Aryna Sabalenka were also victorious.

Keys next faces Elena Rybakina in the battle of the two women with the most aces on Tour this season, with the latter serving more.

Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins was not so lucky, losing to compatriot Shelby Rogers in straight sets.

In the bottom half of the men’s draw, Daniil Medvedev continued his smooth run through the tournament with a straight-sets win against Laslo Dere.

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The last remaining Frenchman in the draw, Gilles Simon, notched up his 500th match victory by defeating American Steve Johnson, also in straight sets. Next for him is Croatian 20th seed Marin Cilic, who came from a set down to defeat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.

Norwegian eighth seed Casper Ruud, who ended the career of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round, also enjoyed a straight-sets victory against Emil Ruusuvuori to advance to the last 32, as did Hubert Hurkacz who defeated Marco Cecchinato.

Other seeded players Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner all required four sets to progress to the last 32, with the latter two a good chance to face each other in the fourth round, possibly for the right to face Medvedev in the quarter-finals.

On Day 6 we will see the first seeds clash with each other, with the highlight being the showdown between young guns Carlos Alcaraz, who has won his past twelve matches, and American 25th seed Sebastian Korda.

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While the Spaniard has won his past dozen matches, Korda will have every reason to be confident that he can pull off an upset, having downed the 19-year-old at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.

Big guns Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are also in action, as they look to close in on a possible blockbuster quarter-final clash, as are Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev and John Isner.

The former two are up against Aljaz Bedene and Botic van de Zandschulp in their respective third round clashes.

There are two inter-generational matches to look forward to in the women’s draw, with Diane Parry looking to claim another major scalp when she faces the experienced Sloane Stephens, while Kaia Kanepi (36 years old) faces an opponent that is half her age in Coco Gauff (18).

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Angelique Kerber, who needs only to win the French Open to complete her set of Grand Slam titles, is the only seed remaining in the fifth section of the draw and will start the prohibitive favourite to defeat Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

The pair met just recently at Strasbourg, where the German won en route to claiming her 14th career title.

The last remaining Australian in the draw, Daria Saville, could set up the clash against Kerber if she beats Martina Trevisan in the second scheduled match on Court 14.

Still in this quarter of the draw, reigning Olympic Gold Medallist Belinda Bencic faces US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez, while Amanda Anisimova, the first-round victor of Naomi Osaka, faces Karolina Muchova who is fresh off her upset victory against Maria Sakkari.

Seeded 14th, Bencic is the highest seed remaining in the bottom half of the draw, after several top ten seeds departed within the first two rounds of the tournament.

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