French Open 2024: Iga Swiatek to face Naomi Osaka at Roland Garros after opening

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Iga Swiatek set up a blockbuster clash with Naomi Osaka at the French Open after racing through her opening match in Paris.

The world No 1 cruised past qualifier Leolia Jeanjean 6-1 6-2 on Monday to successfully launch her title defence at Roland Garros, where she is seeking a fourth title on the Paris clay.

The 22-year-old, who has won the French Open three times in the last four years, arrived in the French capital on the back of a 12-match winning streak on clay, having rolled through the tournaments in Madrid and Rome.

Swiatek is bidding to become the first woman to win three straight French Opens since Justine Henin in 2007.

“It feels like home here,” she said. “Hopefully, I’m going to be here as long as possible.

“These last tournaments gave me a lot and I managed to play tennis in any conditions and under any circumstances. Every tournament is different and the next chapter.”

She did not need much time to show she was determined to stretch that winning run, breaking her opponent in the first game.

A superb forehand down the line put Swiatek 4-1 up before running away with the first set in half an hour.

The Frenchwoman, ranked outside the top 100, tried to draw a line under the first set, breaking the Pole at the start of the second outing but was broken straight back.

Swiatek held serve before earning another break to go 5-2 up, having hit 24 winners at that stage compared to her opponents’ two. She ended the contest on her first match point and with winner number 26.

Pure quality

Iga Swiatek is the first player to win 15 consecutive matches at the French Open since Justine Henin who won 24 between 2005-10

Only three other players have managed a win streak of 15 at this event (Chris Evert, Monica Seles & Steffi Graf)

Queen of Clay?

Swiatek’s victory preceded what could be Rafa Nadal’s final French Open appearance ahead of the king of clay’s expected retirement this year. Although flattered by comparisons to Nadal, Swiatek believes she has a long way to go before she can be called the Queen of Clay.

“I think it’s too early. For sure I’m proud of my achievements. It’s always been my favourite surface. It’s where tennis gives me the most pleasure.

“Comparing me to him, I don’t think I’m on that level yet. I still have many things to prove. He’s a great person and athlete. He’s shown that for many many years. I’m just at the beginning. I’ll do my best to take some lessons from him and be a good person and a good player.”

Jabeur beats wildcard Vickery; Gauff also through

Tunisia'S Ons Jabeur, Right, And Sachia Vickery Of The U.s. Shake Hands After Their First Round Match Of The French Open Tennis Tournament At The Roland Garros Stadium In Paris, Monday, May 27, 2024. (Ap Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
Ons Jabeur reached the second round at Roland Garros after defeating wild card Sachia Vickery

Eighth seed Our Jabeur began her latest attempt to win an elusive Grand Slam title with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory over American wildcard Sachia Vickery in the French Open first round on Monday.

Jabeur quickly racked up a 3-0 lead on Court Philippe Chatrier, but Vickery reduced the gap with a break of her own, only to hand the momentum back to the former Wimbledon and US Open runner-up.

Jabeur pulled out plenty of tricks to close out the opening set, even as the roof closed over the main show court due to rain, before taking control of the second set as Vickery struggled.

The 29-year-old American had prevailed in three sets in the pair’s only previous meeting in Chicago six years ago, but there was no late comeback as 2023 quarter-finalist Jabeur clinically closed out the match on serve in 81 minutes.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova was also largely untroubled, the Czech beating Spain’s Rebeka Masarova 6-1 6-3.

US Open champion Coco Gauffbeaten by Swiatek in the final in Paris two years ago, thumped Russian Julia Avdeeva 6-1 6-1 in just 53 minutes.

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