French Open: Iga Swiatek emerges victorious over Naomi Osaka in gruelling three-hour affair

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Paris [France]: The world number one tennis star Iga Swiatek secured a win over former world number one Naomi Osaka in a gruelling, hard-fought second-round game at the ongoing French Open on Wednesday. Swiatek defeated Osaka by 7-6 (1), 1-6, and 7-5, after both were five-all in the final set.

The current champion has secured three Roland Garros titles and is considered as one of the finest active players on clay surface. Just five months into her comeback following her daughter Skai’s birth, Osaka pushed Swiatek to her limit and even won a set against the numero uno of women’s tennis.

In this tense game, no less than a championship final just considering the quality of tennis played, a vintage Osaka was at work. Following her win, Osaka said as quoted by WTA, “It is hard to have any logical thoughts, because for sure it was really intense and on a really high level. I was in huge trouble in the third set. I honestly did not believe that I could win — that would be pretty naive. But I managed somehow to win this match. I am glad I did not give up.”

Osaka also cried after getting off the court, but 30 minutes late while talking to the media, she remarked that this was the most fun match she has participated in since her comeback. “It just felt really incredible, the atmosphere, and how fun I guess everyone in the crowd was having, too. It was definitely very memorable for me,” she said.

“I kind of realize I was watching Iga win this tournament last year, and I was pregnant. It was just my dream to be able to play her. When I kind of think of it like that, I think I am doing pretty well,” he added. This was Swiatek’s 16th successive win at French Open, the most since Justine Henin’s 24 straight wins between 2005-10. This also marks the Poland star’s 14th straight win this year.

Osaka secured more points, and had 17 more winners and more service breaks under her belt. But Swiatek prevailed at the most crucial junctures to end the match in two hours and 57 minutes. “That was much more intense for a second-round match than I expected. She played really, really great tennis. For sure, I am happy that she is back,” said Swiatek.

“Nowadays in women’s draw you can play Grand Slam champions early in the tournament. It is pretty tricky because you know these players are really experienced. They also achieved many great things. So they have a bigger kind of belief,” she added.

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