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French Open 2024: Iga Swiatek survives second round Osaka scare

In a hard-fought three-set match, Naomi Osaka squandered a match point and then let Iga Swiatek win after all.

French Open 2024: Iga Swiatek survives second round Osaka scare
Iga Swiatek's Round 2 match at the French Open was much harder than she expected

Last Updated: 12.26 AM, May 30, 2024


Iga Swiatek’s dream of a fourth French Open title was almost not to be. Presented with a match point in the third set, Naomi Osaka failed to capitalize and then let Swiatek win 5 consecutive games to steer the match her way again. The final score – 7-6 1-6 7-5. “The match was much more intense than I ever expected in the second round. Naomi played really great tennis,” said Swiatek after the match.

Earlier, when the world No.1 and defending champion Swiatek took the court on Wednesday in the second round of the 2024 French Open, she didn’t expect the cracker of a match that awaited her. Swiatek was facing Naomi Osaka, the former World No.1 and four-time Grand Slam champion, who is currently making a comeback after nearly 15 months out of tennis, when she welcomed her first child. Since returning to the tennis scene in January this year, Osaka made it to quarter-finals and round of 16 stages in Qatar and Italy; clear indication that this second round match would not be a cakewalk for Swiatek.

Osaka made her intentions clear from the start, levelling up with Swiatek 6-6 and only losing focus momentarily in the tie-breaker, which allowed the latter to win the first set. In the second set is when Osaka began putting the brakes on Swiatek, breaking the No.1 early on and taking the set 6-1. She did not let up in the decider either, with a repeat of the second set, breaking Swiatek and then being only a game away from the biggest upset of the tournament. Her serve was on point and so were the winning shots – Osaka was relentless.

But then Osaka squandered a match point and let Swiatek break her – the score now, 5-4, with the latter serving to level out and maybe take control of the match again. After being nearly outplayed in the second and third set, the No.1 found a way to claw her way back in; the scores tied at 5-5. Then Swiatek broke Osaka. And not long after she was serving for the match.

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