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By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, June 5, 2023


World No. 1 Iga Swiatek stretched her Roland Garros win streak to 11 matches setting up a quarterfinal vs. Coco Gauff that's a rematch of the 2022 final.

Photo credit: Getty

Grand Slam tennis is a marathon.

A streaking Iga Swiatek continues to sprint through the field.

More: Ball Kid Struck, Sparking Controversial RG Disqualification

World No. 1 Swiatek held a 5-1 lead in today's Roland Garros match vs. Lesia Tsurenko when the 66th-ranked Ukrainian retired due to a viral illness.

That retirement, while not the way Swiatek wanted to advance, sends the reigning champion into her fourth straight French Open quarterfinal.

It was Swiatek's 11th straight Roland Garros win as she improved to 25-2 lifetime in Paris.

There's lofty levels of play then there's Swiatek's scary state of play.

Through four rounds, Swiatek has surrendered just nine games dishing out four bagels in seven sets.

"Every match I was playing better, and even today for these few games that I had a chance to play, I felt pretty confident," Swiatek said. "So overall, I'm happy with the performance, but of course, as you said, it's not nice to finish a match like that. So I hope Lesia is going to be okay and she'llrecover quickly."

Afterward, Tsurenko said she was felled by the same virus that knocked Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina out of the tournament.

"I have something like Rybakina had, a virus or whatever it is," Tsurenko said afterwards. "My body could not handle it. I did everything possible to manage it, but unfortunately, it's a different thing just to do normal things and play tennis. 

 "I could not practice yesterday,and today I had a tough -- it was tough for me to warmup, but I was hoping for, you know, just starting match and maybe I would feel a little bit better.But, unfortunately, it was getting worse, so I had to stop because it was not the way I wanted to be on court and to play tennis for sure. "

The victory vaults Swiatek into a quarterfinal clash vs. Coco Gauff that's a rematch of the 2022 French Open final.

Earlier, Gauff swept Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-5, 6-2 to bounce into the Roland Garros quarterfinals for the third consecutive year.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek has a bruising history with Gauff and the Delray Beach born baseliner has been bruised and banged up by Swiatek's vicious forehand and smooth athleticism.

Swiatek is 6-0 lifetime vs. Gauff, sweeping all 12 sets they've played while dishing out two bagels in their last six sets.

A year ago, a sharp Swiatek outclassed an 18-year-old Gauff 6-1, 6-3 to lift La Coupe Suzanne Lenglen for the second time in the last three years—and stretch her winning streak to 35 matches.

Today, Gauff came out zooming breaking to start both sets and generally controlled running rallies. Gauff converted six of 10 break-point chances and hit 22 winners against 22 unforced errors.

In this quarterfinal rematch, Swiatek doesn't expect surprises.

Tennis Express

That's because the top-seeded Pole will try to batter Gauff's forehand and the sixth-seeded American will try to engage the world No. 1 in backhand exchanges though that tactic has not been successful in past meetings.

"I think there is a chance we can make something tactically, you know, because we already know our game so well because it has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of the preparation before the match," Swiatek said. "But honestly, that's what I can take from previous matches.

"But last year it was a final, so I think finals have kind of different rules. Sometimes these matches are a little bit different than the other rounds that we play during the tournament because of the pressure and everything that's going on around.

"So, you know, this is a totally different year, totally different tournament. I have to be ready, regardless of what happened last year."


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