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Roland-Garros: Swiatek weathered the temptation in Osaka

  • May 29, 2024
  • 8 Min
  • 8

The clash between the two quadruple Grand Slam winners sparked sparks in the Parisian gray: world No.1 and double holder of the trophy, Iga Swiatek came within one point of elimination against Naomi Osaka in the second round of Roland- Garros Wednesday.

Arriving as the arch-favorite on the Parisian clay court after her Madrid-Rome double, Swiatek dismissed a match point in the third set, at 5 games to 3, before emerging 7-6 (7/1), 1-6, 7-5 after almost three hours of a high-flying face-off under the roof of Central Court.

Not at all on her favorite surface when Swiatek is addicted to ocher, Osaka, returning to the circuit in 2024 after giving birth to her daughter Shai in the summer of 2023, came close to a big blow glow.

We want to draw a parallel between the deluge which fell on the roof of the Philippe-Chatrier court, so deafening that it almost drowned out the sound of the ball, and that of the blows dealt by Osaka on the three-time winner of Roland -Garros (2020, 2022 and 2023).

Hyper impactful on the serve and on the return, the 26-year-old Japanese reminded those who had forgotten her striking power, the one which carried her to four Grand Slam coronations between 2018 and 2021, between the ages of twenty and 23.

Match point discarded

Roland-Garros: Swiatek resists the Osaka storm at the last minute

Polish Iga Swiatek during her Roland-Garros 2nd round match against Japanese Naomi Osaka on the Philippe-Chatrier court on May 29, 2024 in Paris / Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP

To the point of inflicting a 6-1 on Swiatek in the second set, which had not happened to the 22-year-old Pole since her very first Roland-Garros in 2019 (against Halep in the round of 16).

To the point, above all, of obtaining a match point at 5 games to 3 in the deciding set.

Even under the storm, even when Osaka came within two points of the match in the next game, Swiatek held on, until emerging victorious from this duel of queens.

His almost perfect clay court tour before Roland-Garros, with fourteen matches won out of fifteen, undoubtedly helped him.

In any case, the world No.1 avoided experiencing her earliest exit at Roland-Garros at the last minute. Also the earliest in a Grand Slam since 2019, the first season where she participated in major tournaments, the year she turned 18.

For a place in the round of 16, Swiatek will face either the Czech Maria Bouzkova (42nd) or the Croatian Jana Fett (135th).

This match, and all of those scheduled for Wednesday on the uncovered courts of Roland-Garros, were postponed until Thursday because of the rain that fell almost continuously.

Only the matches played on the Philippe-Chatrier and Suzanne-Lenglen courts were able to take place as planned.

Alcaraz despite an air gap

Roland-Garros: Swiatek resists the Osaka storm at the last minute

The Russian Andrey Rublev in the 2nd round of Roland-Garros against the Spaniard Pedro Martinez on the Suzanne-Lenglen court on May 29, 2024 in Paris / Emmanuel Dunand / AFP

Before the clash between Swiatek and Osaka, Carlos Alcaraz, contender for the trophy but whose season on ocher was greatly disrupted by his painful right forearm, overcame an air gap to win 6-3, 6-4 , 2-6, 6-2 against Dutch qualifier Jesper de Jong in just over three hours.

“I played a very bad third set, it was a match with mental ups and downs”recognized the world No.3, who also twice fell behind a break in the fourth round.

And his arm in all this? “I didn’t feel anything, but this type of wet conditions don’t help at all, it’s difficult to score winning points, there are rallies,” observes “Carlitos”. It scared me a little but it went well. »

Among the other players likely to do well in the most open edition for twenty years in the men’s draw, Stefanos Tsitsipas (N.9) reached the third round by dismissing the German Daniel Altmaier 6- 3, 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4. Andrey Rublev (N.6) dominated the Spaniard Pedro Martinez 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

End of course in the second round for French N.1 Caroline Garcia, “obviously disappointed” and ejected 6-3, 6-3 by the American Sofia Kenin, 56th in the world and finalist in Paris in 2020.

Roland-Garros: Swiatek resists the Osaka storm at the last minute

The Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas against the German Daniel Altmaier in the 2nd round of Roland-Garros on the Suzanne-Lenglen court on May 29, 2024 in Paris / EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP

Smooth qualifying for world No.3 Coco Gauff, 6-3, 6-4 against Slovenian Tamara Zidansek, and in three sets for world No.9 Ons Jabeur, against Colombian Camila Osorio 6-3, 1- 6, 6-3.