June 14, 2024
Andy Murray

Iga Swiatek and Naomi Osaka produced an all-time classic in the second round of the French Open with both players receiving plenty of praise after the match.

The two Grand Slam winners delivered one of the best match matches on Philippe Chatrier as reigning Roland Garros champion Swiatek survived an onslaught from Osaka and found herself one point away from defeat.

However, the world No 1 displayed all her fighting qualities as she came from 2-5 down to secure a 7-6 (7-1), 1-6, 7-5 victory.
Tennis great Chris Evert – a seven-time French Open champion – was delighted with the quality on show in Paris as she wrote on X: “this match……. worthy of a final…”

On the flip side, the stadium was half empty as rain in Paris resulted in many people leaving early while expensive ticket prices is also taking a toll.

With women’s tennis often taking a backseat to the men’s game, former world No 1 Andy Murray believes the Swiatek-Osaka encounter offered a huge opportunity for the WTA.

“Osaka vs Swiatek is a brilliant watch wta need to do more to capitalise on these match ups!” the three-time Grand Slam winner wrote.

Naomi Osaka finds herself at No 134 in the WTA Rankings as she continues to make her way back up after missing the 2023 season as she was pregnant.

Two-time French Open runner-up Alex Corretja sees her back in the top 20 and praised Swiatek’s mentality.

“It seemed Osaka could hit as hard as she wanted and couldn’t miss, especially with the backhand. She was moving so well and just went for it all the time. I questioned whether she could make it. But the way she played tonight, Osaka, I think she can get back to the top of her game. Top 15 again, for sure,” he told Eurosport.

“Swiatek is a warrior and a gladiator. The toughest competitor you can have on the women’s side for sure. The other players will all have doubts if they ever even get a match point against her. Mentally, I think she is hard as a rock.”

Swiatek is looking for her fourth title in Paris following her successes in 2020, 2022 and 2023 and Eurosport analyst Barbara Schett feels her win is a big statement for the rest of the field.

“That’s why she’s the ‘queen of clay’ and Roland-Garros,” the former world No 7 said. “If Swiatek can get through a match like that she will be hard to stop and that’s a message to the rest of the women’s draw as well.”

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