Start United States USA — Sport No. 1 Iga Swiatek advances at French Open amid 31-match run

No. 1 Iga Swiatek advances at French Open amid 31-match run

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The 20-year-old from Poland, winner of her past four tournaments and 48 of her past 49 sets, reaches the fourth round
It’s been so long since No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek lost – 31 matches now – and even since she ceded so much as a set – that last happened more than a month ago – that she could be forgiven if she couldn’t recall how to react when in trouble on a tennis court. Which is why it was worth watching as the 2020 French Open champion navigated a couple of tricky spots in the third round at Roland Garros on Saturday. Turns out Swiatek didn’t panic and didn’t allow thoughts about this dominant run coming to an end distract her in what would become a 6-3, 7-5 victory against hard-hitting Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.
“Thinking about all these stats, it’s not really helpful. So basically I try to be really strict in terms of my thoughts and try to really focus on… finding solutions,” said Swiatek, a 20-year-old from Poland whose last name is pronounced shvee-ON’-tek. “The thoughts are there, but I’m accepting that.”
Kovinic also got a too-close-for-comfort look at Swiatek’s predecessor atop the WTA rankings, the since-retired Ash Barty, during a 6-0, 6-0 loss at the Australian Open in January. After Saturday’s setback, Kovinic said she was dealing with a nerve issue in her right shoulder and felt tingling in that arm and two of her fingers. She also said she made sure to deliver a message to Swiatek when they shook hands at the net.
“I told her, ‘Keep going.’ It’s really great for tennis, for our sport, what she’s doing. Obviously, she has something extra that the rest of us don’t have,” the 95th-ranked Kovinic said. “She has something special. What it is, I don’t know.”
Well, let’s try to answer.

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