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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Monday, May 27, 2024


World No. 1 Iga Swiatek swept Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2, scoring her 15th straight Roland Garros win to set up a blockbuster second round.

Photo credit: Clive Mason/Getty

Few champions construct clay-court points with the powerful proficiency of Iga Swiatek.

Today, the world No. 1 showed her destructive side.

More: Osaka on Facing Swiatek

Playing beneath the closed retractable roof over Court Philippe Chatrier, Swiatek brought the walls down dismissing French qualifier Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2 in a statement start to her Roland Garros title defense.

Detonating points from the center of the court, Swiatek slammed 26 winners—24 more than Jeanjean—belted a 118 mph serve and accidentally pelted the leaping Frenchman with a fierce forehand in the second set that likely left a mark on her leg.

It all added up to Swiatek’s 13th straight victory as she raised her 2024 record to 37-4.

It is Swiatek’s 15th consecutive Roland Garros victory—she’s the first woman to win 15 straight French Open matches since Justine Henin won 24 consecutive matches between 2005-2010—and sends her into the second-round blockbuster showdown the world wants to see vs. Naomi Osaka.

Yesterday, world No. 134 Osaka tamed spiking nerve and a biting breeze, recovering from losing five games in a row, to beat Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in her French Open opener and earn her first major match win since the 2022 Australian Open.

The Swiatek-Osaka showdown on Wednesday pits a pair of four-time Grand Slam champions and is a rematch of the 2022 Miami Open final. Swiatek swept Osaka 6-4, 6-0 in Miami. Osaka said it will be "a very big honor and challenge" to face clay queen Swiatek on her best surface.

"I'm honestly really excited," Osaka said when asked playing Swiatek. "I watched her a lot when I was pregnant. "And honestly, I think it's an honor to play her in the French Open, because she's won more than once here, for sure. I'm going to, it's like a very big honor and challenge for me."

Riding a 12-match clay-court winning streak into Paris, including back-to-back WTA 1000 championship in Madrid and Rome, Swiatek came out with commanding strikes today.

Because Swiatek hits so much bigger off both wings than Jeanjean (her forehand was firing over 20 miles-per-hour faster at times), was playing amid pristine conditions beneath the closed Court Philippe Chatrier and knows there are major champions in her quarter who could pose tricky tests, the powerful Pole was terminating points ruthlessly in the first set.

Vast power disparity was evident in fifth game. Jeanjean forced a mid-court ball, but did not do nearly enough with her crosscourt forehand. Jumping all over it, Swiatek slammed successive crackling forehands into opposite corners breaking with a bang for 4-1 after a mere 19 minutes.

Swiatek swept a forehand winner down the line stretching her lead to 5-1.

Bolting a backhand down the line brought Swiatek double-set point. When Jeanjean, who was playing too many drives down the middle, sailed a backhand, Swiatek snatched the 27-minute opener with her third break.

Dominating the center of court, Swiatek turned some points into target practice for her ballistic forehand strikes.

One cool aspect of Jeanjean is her name—it’s one of the cool tennis names that’s fun to say like Evonne Goolagong, Anna Smashnova, Tamarine Tanasugarn, Magdalena Maleeva—but the French qualifier’s second serve was not nearly as distinctive. Swiatek won nine of 10 points played on the Jeanjean second serve, puncturing it like a pinata.

The woman wearing the canary-colored adidas dress reset to start the second set drawing a couple of errors to break and snap Swiatek’s four-game run.

Jeanjean could not confirm the break. Swiatek broke right back in the second game then brought the big body blow in the game.

Pouncing on a mid-court ball, Swiatek lasered a forehand with such force she tagged a leaping Jeanjean in the leg closing out a 2-1 lead. That blow elicited a “Whoo!” from Jeanjean, who was already wearing taping on the back of her left leg and may be sporting a bruise after that strike. Swiatek raised a hand in apology.

As the top seed’s unforced error count grew while she tried to squeeze blasts down the line, Jeanjean held firm to level after four games.

The four-time Grand Slam champion elevated from there racing through 12 of the next 15 points.

Two trips to net, including a fine backhand volley, helped Swiatek hold at love for 5-2.

Swiatek stormed through 11 of the last 12 points banging a backhand winner down the line to close a convincing opener in 61 minutes.

The world No. 1 is now 78-10 lifetime on clay, including a spectacular 29-2 Roland Garros record.

After rolling through round one, Swiatek had an important appointment: Watching her tennis idol, Rafael Nadal, take on fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev on Court Philippe Chatrier.


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