Scorching Swiatek blasts into French Open third round as Pliskova joins top-seed exodus

Relentless world No 1 destroys Riske 6-0, 6-2 in just 61 minutes at Roland Garros to seal 30th win in a row

Iga Swiatek on her way to victory over Alison Riske in the second round of the French Open on Thursday, May 26, 2022. EPA
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Relentless Iga Swiatek blasted her way into the French Open third round after destroying Alison Riske 6-0, 6-2 at Roland Garros on Thursday.

The world No 1 made it 30 wins in a row with a devastating display against her American opponent, with Swiatek now looking overwhelming favourite to secure her second Paris Grand Slam title.

It is now the longest winning streak in women’s tennis since Serena Williams won 34 in a row in 2013 and the Pole is undefeated in more than three months of tennis.

Swiatek hit 23 winners to 15 unforced errors in 61 minutes, and she lost just 10 points in seven service games and now takes on Montenegro's Danka Kovinic.

The 20-year-old's march to a sixth tournament victory on the spin looks even more on the cards after Karolina Pliskova and Danielle Collins became the sixth and seventh top-10 women's seeds to head home from Paris.

Eighth-seed Pliskova lost 6-2, 6-2 to the 26-year-old wild card Leolia Jeanjean, who cut her teeth as a leading college player in the US but who gave up tennis for almost five years after suffering a serious knee injury.

American Collins, seeded nine, was knocked out in a 6-4, 6-3 by countrywoman Shelby Rogers. The pair joined fellow top 10 seeds in defending champion Barbora Krejcikova, Maria Sakkari, Anett Kontaveit, Ons Jabeur and former winner Garbine Muguruza in failing to get through to Round 3.

Jeanjean is the lowest-ranked woman to beat a top-10 player at Roland Garros since Conchita Martinez beat Lori McNeil in 1988.

“I don’t have an explanation,” said the Frenchwoman. “I don’t even realise what’s happening. I know I’m 26. It’s my first Grand Slam. I thought I would have lost in the first round in two sets, and now I found myself beating a top-10 player.

“I don’t really know how it’s possible, what’s happening. I just try to give my best to play my tennis, and it’s working so far.”

Jeanjean will play Irina-Camelia Begu, who knocked out 30th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, in the third round.

World No 4 Paula Badosa avoided becoming another big-name casualty when she overcame 68th-ranked Kaja Juvan of Slovenia 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.

Spaniard Badosa recovered from a break down in the decider to set up a meeting with 29th seed Veronika Kudermetova for a spot in the last 16.

“It was a very touchy match and I expected a match like this,” Badosa said. “I was nervous and stressed. She was running, getting all the balls. In that moment I tried to stay as calm as possible and play aggressively.”

Swiatek, Bardosa and seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka – who defeated American Madison Brengle 6-1, 6-3 – are now the only top-10 seeds left in the tournament.

Also through is American 11th seed Jessica Pegula who needed eight match points to defeat Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.

Elena Rybakina, the Kazakhstani 16th seed, defeated Katie Volynets 6-4, 6-0, and is next up against another American in Madison Keys, who beat home hope Caroline Garcia 6-4, 7-6. Russia's Daria Kasatkina is also through after her 6-0, 6-3 win over Mexico's Fernanda Contreras Gomez.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep is out after losing 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 to Chinese teenager Qinwen Zheng.

In the men's draw, second seed Daniil Medvedev eased into the third round with a straight-sets win over Laslo Djere of Serbia. The US Open champion won 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in just over two-and-a-half hours.

The Russian, who started his French Open career with four straight-first-round exits before reaching the quarter-finals last year, has won all six sets he has played so far this week and dropped only 16 games.

“Today he [Djere] played maybe better clay-court tennis but I managed to play better on the important points,” said Medvedev, who now faces 28th seed Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia.

Danish teenager Holger Rune – who knocked out 14th seed Denis Shapovalov in the opening round – continued his impressive form of late with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Switzerland's Henri Laaksonen. France's Hugo Gaston will provide his third-round opponent.

Eighth seed Casper Ruud was also a winner in straight sets as the Norwegian swept past Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 and will now tackle Lorenzo Sonego of Italy.

Updated: May 26, 2022, 5:12 PM
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