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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, May 26, 2022

 
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World No. 1 Iga Swiatek stormed through 9 straight games dismissing Alison Riske 6-0, 6-2 to reach the Roland Garros third round with her 30th straight win.

Photo credit: Getty

Winning isn’t easy.

Iga Swiatek’s conquest comfort level is scary.

More: Shapovalov Calls Double Fault on ATP and Wimbledon

The top-seeded Swiatek stormed through nine straight games shellacking American Alison Riske 6-0, 6-2 to roll into the Roland Garros third round with her 30th consecutive victory.

The world No. 1 continues her thrill ride through the spring season amassing the longest WTA winning streak since Serena Williams won 32 in a row in 2013.

Ninety-nine days ago Swiatek lost her last match, to 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko, 6-4, 1-6, 6-7 in Dubai on February 16th.

Since then, Swiatek has been untouchable.

The streak has strengthened Swiatek's confidence and can shrink opponents' self-belief too.

"I think it's like a constant presence that I have since I started playing on the WTA, for sure," Swiatek said. "Just winning all these matches gave me a lot of confidence but I also knew that it could really press me down if I like don't adjust to it well.

"Yeah, I feel like I'm using my new position to put more pressure on my opponents. Yeah, I'm pretty happy that I could convert it to a way that is really helpful. Yeah, I feel like my confidence is better."

Winners flowed like all the right answers on an exam today as Swiatek slashed 23 winners—13 from her crackling topspin forehand and 7 off her flat backhand—compared to 6 for Riske.

The top seed won 22 of 26 first-serve points and did not face a break point in a commanding 61-minute triumph.

The 2020 champion dished out her Tour-best 15th bagel set of the season raising her record to 37-3 and raising the question: Can anyone in the field slow force of nature Swiatek?




Certainly, this was one of the worst possible match-ups for the 43rd-ranked Riske who has scored significant Grand Slam wins. Riske upset world No. 1 Ash Barty en route to the 2019 Wimbledon quarterfinals and topped two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova at the US Open. Riske is at her best on quicker courts with lower bounces where she can take it early and drive the ball down the line.

Today, Swiatek shrewdly tied the American up with high-bounding topspin off her forehand and flashed sharp-angled flatter backhands. While the Swiatek forehand is her kill shot and attracts a lot of attention, her stinging first serve, speed around the court, skill changing directions and her ability to play the sharp angles were all on display today.




Through two rounds, Swiatek has surrendered just four games in four sets stamping a couple of shutout sets in the process.

The 20-year-old Pole opened the month capturing her fifth consecutive championship in Rome joining Serena Williams (in 2013) as the second woman to raise four WTA 1000 titles in the same season. Now, Swiatek has won 46 of her last 47 sets and shows no signs of slowing down.

To threaten Swiatek, opponents must make her play from behind, but how do you make someone who doesn't lose sets play catch up?

"I'm ready for it, honestly," said Swiatek, who last lost a set to Liudmila Samsonova in Stuttgart last month. "Well, 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, you know. 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 okay with that. For sure it's not fun to lose, but I think it wouldn't be different than any other loss that I had, you know, in my career."

Next up for Swiatek is Danka Kovinic in the third round with the 13th-seeded Ostapenko, who plays Frenchwoman Alize Cornet tonight, still standing in Swiatek’s quarter.


 

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