Iga Swiatek demonstrates problem-solving ability in 31st straight win
World No 1 Iga Swiatek overcame some second set yips to down Danka Kovinic 6-3 7-5 and reach the fourth round of the French Open.
Swiatek admitted that she had to reign in her aggression to regain accuracy in her game and overcome an opponent who proved tricky.
The 20-year-old Pole is happy that she is starting matches well which has left each of her opponents quickly behind in her three matches at Roland Garros so far.
“She did a pretty good job of defending and giving back at full speed,” said Swiatek about Kovinic.
“She was serving really precisely – it was a little tricky but I have played with some heavy hitters already but it was pretty hard to adjust at the beginning.
“I wanted to play really aggressively but sometimes i feel I was putting too much power and it was hard to control it. I needed to play with a little less risk and be more consistent.
“I feel like I can play more fearlessly but today I lost both the breaks. But playing well at the beginnng is putting pressure on my opponents, which is important.”
Eurosport pundit and former French Open winner Mats Wilander felt that Swiatek just relaxed a bit which allowed Kovinic to ramp up the pressure on the top-ranked woman.
Swiatek remains the clear favourite in a women’s draw which has already lost seven of the top ten seeds.
China’s Qinwen Zheng, who comes into the fourth round having won nine straight games against Alize Cornet before the home hope retired, will be Swiatek’s next opponent and likely her biggest test so far.
Wilander’s assessment that Swiatek played her worst match so far, is also supported by some key stats.
Swiatek hit 23 unforced errors in the match and just 13 winners but was helped by an even higher error count for her opponent.
She has now won 20 matches of her 31-match winning streak in straight sets.
Swiatek has so far proven to be a dominant World No 1 but would love to add a second Grand Slam title to her collection and to do so needs to extend her streak to 35 matches.
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