Swiatek survives huge Osaka scare in French Open thriller

By Sports Desk May 29, 2024

Iga Swiatek survived a huge scare before eventually seeing off Naomi Osaka in a thrilling second-round clash at the French Open.

After winning the opening set, the reigning champion was pegged back by her Japanese opponent, and trailed 4-1 in the decider before saving match point at 5-3 behind.

However, she dug deep to prevail 7-6 (7-1) 1-6 7-5 as Court Philippe-Chatrier was treated to a blockbuster battle of the four-time major winners.

The opening set went the distance with Swiatek eventually dominating the tie-break to draw first blood. However, Osaka broke at the start of the second as she came roaring back to level the contest.

The world number 134 built on that momentum, saving several break points while also breaking her opponent for a commanding 4-1 advantage.

She then reached match point at 40-30 in game nine, and stood on the brink of becoming only the third player to beat Swiatek at Roland Garros after Simona Halep and Maria Sakkari.

However, a trio of untimely backhand errors - two into the net and one long - allowed the top seed to survive and break back, and she did not look back from there.

Osaka double-faulted at the end of game 11 to hand Swiatek another break at 6-5 up, and she successfully held out for victory after her opponent sent a forehand wide.

Data Debrief: Swiatek matches Steffi and Seles

It was touch and go at one point but, at 22 years and 363 days old, Swiatek is the third-youngest player after Monica Seles and Steffi Graf to win 16 consecutive matches at the French Open during the Open Era.

Meanwhile, the Pole has now won 69 of her 70 completed WTA main-draw matches on clay after winning the opening set.

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