French Open: Iga Swiatek reaches 2nd week with strong finish against Anett Kontaveit

Defending champion Iga Swiatek played two polar opposite sets in her one-hour-22-minute third-round encounter against 30th seed Anett Kontaveit at the French Open. The eighth seed went on to prevail 7-6(4), 6-0.

In the opening set, the Estonian put the Pole through her paces breaking her serve in the first game itself. The set flowed along in waves as Swiatek broke back a couple of games later. The proceedings remained on serve thereafter, leading to the tie-break. For Swiatek, it was a new milestone as it was the first time in a Major the Pole was playing a tie-break. In the tie-break, the first mini-break went Swiatek’s way and she was able to hold on to her lead long enough to bring three set points. While a winner helped Kontaveit save the first set point, Swiatek’s winner in the next point helped her pocket the set.

Kontaveit’s game came apart in the second set even Swiatek tightened control over the proceedings. The higher-ranked kept piling winner upon winner while on the other end, Kontaveit’s errors grew in number. Swiatek faced slight problems in the sixth game while serving for the match as Kontaveit went up 0-30 after hitting two winners but the 2020 Roland Garros champion steered the game her way and took the win on her first match point.

In the pre-quarter-finals, Swiatek will play Marta Kostyuk. The Ukrainian defeated Varvara Gracheva 6-1, 6-2 in just 61 minutes.

French Open: Coco Gauff’s new milestone

At the top of the draw, Ons Jabeur reached the fourth round for the second straight year in Paris after a strong comeback win against Swiatek’s compatriot, Magda Linette. The 25th-seeded Tunisian lost the first set 6-3 but turned around the match entirely in the course of the latter two sets to finish strongly, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 in an hour and 26 minutes.

Jabeur will play 24th seed Coco Gauff for a spot in the quarter-finals. The teenager came through to the round-of-16 at the French Open for the first time after her opponent, fellow American and 13th seed Jennifer Brady retired after losing the opening set 6-1.

Maria Sakkari clinched the last fourth round spot at the 2021 French Open. The Greek, the 17th seed, defeated 14th seed Elise Mertens 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-2 in two hours and 52 minutes. Sakkari will play fourth seed Sofia Kenin for a place in the last-eight.