Swiatek starts with rapid win but Osaka is beaten

Iga Swiatek’s winning streak is the longest by any player on the WTA Tour since 2013
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

World number one Iga Swiatek underlined why she is the overwhelming favourite by starting her French Open campaign with a quick win over Lesia Tsurenko.

But four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka was beaten by Amanda Anisimova in a high quality first-round encounter.

Poland’s Swiatek showed all her quality in a 6-2 6-0 victory that took just 54 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The 20-year-old, who won Roland Garros in 2020, extended her winning streak to 29 matches by beating the Ukrainian.

American Anisimova, who ended Osaka’s Australian Open title defence in January, beat the Japanese former world number one 7-5 6-4.

Anisimova, a semi-finalist in 2019, will face Croatia’s Donna Vekic next.

Swiatek not ‘focusing on the numbers’

Few players have recently gone into the women’s singles at a Grand Slam with the odds as heavily stacked in her favour as Swiatek does at Roland Garros this year.

Since a run to the Australian Open semi-finals in January, she has completely dominated the women’s game and won her past five tournaments.

She earned title victories in Doha and Indian Wells, then became world number one following Australian rival Ashleigh Barty’s shock retirement in March.

A few days later Swiatek won the Miami Open, and then went on to triumph in Stuttgart and Rome.

The power and accuracy of her groundstrokes, plus near-impenetrable defensive skills, have proved too good for her opponents – with Tsurenko being the latest to be swatted aside.

The forehand was particularly potent for Swiatek, who hit 13 of her 20 winners with the shot and aptly sealed victory from that side on her third match point.

“It was a pretty good match for me,” said Swiatek, who has won 42 of her past 43 sets.

“I just want to keep going, I know the streak will someday stop but I’m just focusing on my game and not the numbers.”

Swiatek will face either American Alison Riske or Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska in the second round.

Anisimova capitalises on Osaka’s rusty serving

Amanda Anisimova
Amanda Anisimova ended Naomi Osaka’s Australian Open title defence in January

Osaka had struggled with an Achilles injury in the build-up to the Grand Slam but was let down most by her serve, including eight double faults.

Osaka said she had initially worried about the reception she would receive on her return to Paris after withdrawing from last year’s event because of mental health struggles.

Both she and Anisimova were warmly received by the crowd on Suzanne Lenglen, with the fans rallying behind Osaka as she fought to keep Anisimova at bay.

Osaka’s rustiness was most evident in her serving, with several of her double faults coming at crucial moments to hand Anisimova the initiative.

After fighting back from an early break down, Osaka was broken on a huge double fault at 5-5 in the opening set.

Anisimova then produced a near-flawless service game to take the opening set, sealing it in 46 minutes with a forehand winner.

The young American also dealt with more pressure from Osaka in the second set, first breaking the Japanese on a double fault and then saving three break points in the next game to keep a 5-3 lead.

Anisimova created three match points on her serve and looked shaky as she sent two into the net, before a fiery strike down the line wrapped up the match.

Elsewhere, 2020 semi-finalist Petra Kvitova advanced with a 7-6 (7-0) 6-1 win over Hungary’s Anna Bondar.

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