Another rapid win for Swiatek but Halep exits


Iga Swiatek hit 23 winners and made 15 unforced errors in a one-sided win
Dates: 22 May-5 June Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Coverage: Live text and radio commentaries of selected matches across BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website and app

Top seed Iga Swiatek overwhelmed another opponent with a rapid win to reach the French Open third round but Simona Halep was knocked out.

Poland’s Swiatek, 20, needed 61 minutes to win 6-0 6-2 against American Alison Riske at Roland Garros.

Swiatek, who beat Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko in 54 minutes on Tuesday, has now won her past 30 matches and is aiming for a sixth successive title.

But fellow former champion Halep and eighth seed Karolina Pliskova lost.

Romania’s Halep struggled physically in the second half of her match against Chinese 19-year-old Zheng Qinwen, seeming to have difficulties with her breathing and calling on the trainer. She faded badly and lost 2-6 6-2 6-1.

But the upset of the day came against Wimbledon runner-up Pliskova, who was stunned 6-2 6-2 by French world number 227 Leolia Jeanjean.

Swiatek, the 2020 Roland Garros champion, has come into the clay-court Grand Slam as the biggest favourite for a women’s major title in recent times following a stunning run in which she has dominated the WTA Tour.

“I’m pretty happy. I’m playing solid tennis,” said Swiatek, who has already won titles in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome this year.

“I’m a perfectionist so I can still work on lots of things.”

The power and accuracy of her groundstrokes, particularly from the forehand, have proved difficult for anyone recently to cope with.

Riske, ranked 43rd, was the latest opponent to have few answers.

One of the hallmarks of Swiatek’s success has been her ruthlessness and a 20-minute first set was the 15th bagel – a tour high – she had inflicted this year.

Seven points were all she allowed Riske and the dominance continued at the start of the second set.

After another ball flew past, the American simply shrugged at her box as if to say ‘What can I do?’.

The unstoppable winners from Swiatek continued, although she showed she was human – hitting a volley into the net – to enable Riske to finally get on the board after 42 minutes.

A broad smile broke across Riske’s face as the crowd on Court Suzanne Lenglen showed their support with a hearty round of applause.

That was about as fun as it got for Riske, with Swiatek going on to clinch a straightforward win which means she is only the fourth WTA player this century to win 30 matches in a row.

She will play Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic next.

Ninth seed Danielle Collins was another seed to fall on Thursday as she lost 6-4 6-3 to fellow American Shelby Rogers.

Eleventh seed Jessica Pegula won 6-1 5-7 6-4 against Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine, while Madison Keys was another American to triumph, defeating France’s Caroline Garcia 6-4 7-6 (7-3) on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Spain’s Paula Badosa, who won the Indian Wells title in October and who is seeded third at Roland Garros, moved into the third round with a 7-5 3-6 6-2 success against Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan.

Italy’s Camila Giorgi and Russian Veronika Kudermetova, seeded 28th and 29th respectively, also won their matches. Giorgi gained a 6-3 7-5 victory against Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, while Kudermetova triumphed 6-3 6-3 in her match with Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia.

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