Swiatek Completes Roland Garros Quarterfinal Lineup

Iga Swiatek (photo: Roland Garros video)

PARIS/WASHINGTON, June 8, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

Defending Roland Garros women’s titlist Iga Swiatek of Poland rounded out the quarterfinal field with her 6-3, 6-4 victory over Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine Monday evening.

Playing in her first night session match on Court Philippe-Chatrier, the 20-year-old Swiatek came back from a break down early in the first set to win the 92-minute fourth-round match over the 18-year-old Kostyuk. Through the first four rounds of the tournament, Swiatek has dropped just 20 games.

With the women’s quarterfinals now set, Swiatek finds herself as the only Top 10-seed left and the only one of the eight who has won a Grand Slam singles title. Of the eight women remaining, six have reached their first major quarterfinal.

Swiatek hit 24 winners and 22 unforced errors while Kostyuk’s numbers were similar at 20 winners and 24 unforced errors. A big difference, however, was in the percentage of first-serve points won: Swiatek won 74 percent (28 of 38) while Kostyuk won only 57 percent (25 of 44). Swiatek outpointed her opponent 77-63.

Asked during an on-court interview how the conditions of playing at night under lights differed from her previous matches, Swiatek said: “There were like so many differences that it was actually hard for me to adapt to it. The lights are really bright especially when the sky is dark. We both had the same conditions. I’m happy that in the future we’re going to play night matches with the crowds. It will be much better.”

Later, during her press conference, Swiatek said: “Playing the night session … is always hard, because you have to change the whole rhythm of the day, change the routines.

“So still, even though I played many night sessions right now, I sometimes struggle at the beginning to find the rhythm and to see the ball properly with the lights, not with the sun.

“You just have to adjust to that, because we both have the same conditions. It’s going better and better every match, but still, I need some more experience.”

Swiatek extended her sets-won streak at Roland-Garros to 22 and the win gives the defending champion a pair of 10-match winning streaks – both in 2021 and also at the French Open.

Next, Swiatek will face No. 17 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece, who earlier Monday beat last year’s French Open finalist Sofia Kenin of the United States, 6-1, 6-3. With No. 4 seed Kenin ousted, it leaves No. 8 seed Swiatek as the highest remaining seed in the women’s draw.

Swiatek is also still alive in the women’s doubles draw teamed with Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States. “I’m happy I’m in both singles and doubles quarterfinals,” she said. “It’s a big achievement. Being in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam doesn’t happen every day. I’m proud I’m doing good and I have good support with me.”

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Iga Swiatek commenting on her win over Marta Kostyuk Monday evening.

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