Iga Swiatek ‘hasn’t even been tested’ en route to French Open semi-final

Iga Swiatek gestures at French Open

Former French Open champion Chris Evert has suggested defending champions Iga Swiatek “hasn’t even been tested” in the women’s singles event at Roland Garros this year.

Swiatek advanced to the semi-finals on the back of a convincing 6-4, 6-2 quarter-final victory over American Coco Gauff on Wednesday.

The Polish Star will meet Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia in the last four.

“The first set was 4-4, 30-30, and I was thinking ‘Wow, this is the highest quality women’s tennis match we’ve seen so far; they’re both playing so well.’ And then Iga just mentally – she’s just stronger,” Evert, who won the French Open women’s singles title seven times, told Eurosport.

“She challenges Coco to be mentally aware and in the moment, every single point, and Iga can do that, whereas Coco at 19 cannot do that. The second set was less tense; Coco made a lot of forehand errors and was mishitting a few more balls. It wasn’t the highest quality, but you give credit to Iga, coming out there against a dangerous opponent and found her A-game. She hasn’t even been tested in this tournament. She found her A-game, and played remarkably well.”

Gauff, who reached the final four of the Australian Open earlier this year, was attempting to book her second grand slam semi-final of 2023.

“After that first set, Coco had to change something. If you’re losing, you’ve got to change. As soon as she started coming into the net, I thought she could’ve drop-shotted more. She was throwing everything but the kitchen sink at one point, but it’s not her game,” added Evert.

“Iga beat her at her game. Iga does everything except volleying a little bit better than Coco right now. There’s no area except volleying – mentally, emotionally, physically – she moves as well as Coco.”

Former British star Tim Henman enjoyed the forehand battle between Gauff and Swiatek, who contested last year’s French Open final.

“In terms of forehands, Swiatek’s and Gauff’s – that is a huge difference. Swiatek is so aggressive, so consistent with that forehand, playing with so much power and spin, not making mistakes and hitting a lot of winners,” he told Eurosport.

“That is one of her huge weapons, and something that she relies on any surface, but especially on clay. This was a huge match – last year’s final – and it’s another significant hurdle that Swiatek has overcome.”

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