French Open: Iga Swiatek runs win streak to 30 matches, longest in 9 years

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Iga Swiatek is not keeping track, but she’s now up 30 consecutive match victories.

“I know how many matches I have won in a row because you keep reminding me,” she said in a press conference answer after sweeping American Alison Riske 6-0, 6-2 to reach the French Open third round.

Top-ranked Swiatek of Poland is on the WTA’s longest streak in nine years, having won her last five tournaments. If she wins her next five matches for a second Roland Garros title, she will have the longest women’s win streak since Venus Williams also won 35 in a row in 2000.

“I was saying from the beginning that for sure I’m going to reach a point where I’m going to lose a match, and it’s pretty normal,” she said Thursday, after visiting Versailles between her first and second matches at Roland Garros. “I have been losing matches in tennis for a long time. For sure the things we are doing right now are pretty extraordinary, but I know in tennis that only one person wins at the end. I will be OK with that. For sure it’s not fun to lose, but I think it wouldn’t be different than any other loss.”

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She has bageled an opponent — winning a set 6-0 — 15 times in 42 matches in 2022, more than any player in an entire year since Serena Williams had 25 in 2013, according to the WTA.

In 1988, Steffi Graf had 15 bagels through the French Open (40 matches) in her Golden Slam year, sweeping the four majors and winning the Olympic title.

Swiatek, who gets Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in the third round, credited the work put in and experience gained in 2021. She didn’t win a major last year — after breaking through to win Roland Garros at age 19 in 2020 — but was the only woman to reach the fourth round of every Slam.

“It finally clicked somehow,” said Swiatek, who has been rolling since ascending to No. 1 in the world when Australian Ash Barty retired in a surprise in March. “Winning all these matches gave me a lot of confidence, but I also knew that it could really press me down if I don’t adjust to it well. Yeah, I feel like I’m using my new position to put more pressure on my opponents.”

Almost all of her primary challengers in Paris lost in the first two rounds. On Thursday, No. 8 seed Karolina Pliskova and No. 9 Danielle Collins became the sixth and seventh top-10 women’s seeds to lose.

Leolia Jeanjean, the 227th-ranked French wild card, took out the Wimbledon finalist Pliskova 6-2, 6-2.

Shelby Rogers ousted Collins 6-4, 6-3 in an all-American match.

China’s 19-year-old Zheng Qinwen eliminated 2018 Roland Garros champion Simona Halep 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Swiatek’s biggest threat left is No. 3 Paula Badosa, who beat Kaja Juvan 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.

No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka is the other top-10 seed remaining, also in the top half of the draw.

Americans Coco Gauff and Amanda Anisimova are among the leading contenders to make the final from the bottom half, where the top remaining seed is No. 14 Belinda Bencic.

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