Iga Swiatek survives scare to beat Qinwen Zheng in French Open fourth round and extend run to 32 matches
Iga Swiatek took her winning streak to 32 matches, but the world No. 1 was made to fight for victory on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with 19-year-old Qinwen Zheng taking the first set of their French Open fourth-round tie. Swiatek, the 2020 champion, responded in style to complete a 6-7(5) 6-0 6-2 comeback win and book a meeting with Jessica Pegula at Roland-Garros.
Swiatek seals comeback win against Zheng after early scare
The women’s favourite goes on to face Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals, with the American No. 11 seed enjoying a comeback win of her own when seeing off Irina-Camelia Begu 4-6 6-2 6-3.
'Wow, what a set of tennis' - Zheng stuns Swiatek by taking first set
Zheng made her Grand Slam debut at this year’s Australian Open, where she reached the second round, and having already seen off Simona Halep at the French Open she did not look fazed when facing the world No. 1 on Philippe-Chatrier.
The world No. 74 looks destined to rise further up the rankings, and she outlined her potential when taking the game to Swiatek early on with an array of ferocious forehands and disguised drop shots.
Swiatek, who dropped just four games in her opening two matches before beating Danka Kovinic 6-3 7-5, was forced to save two break points in the opening game of the fourth-round match, and though Zheng dropped her opening serve she was able to break back in the fifth.
Swiatek begins fourth-round match by winning rally with Zheng
Typically, Swiatek broke again to lead, but when serving at 5-3 she was unable to convert three set points as Zheng rallied to bring it back on serve.
A tense finale to the first set followed, with Swiatek saving two break points in the 10th game before failing to convert another two set points when Zheng was serving to stay in it.
Zheng battled to force the tie-break, and though Swiatek moved 5-2 in front, Zheng then won four straight points to bring up her first set point, which she was able to convert after some remarkable defence forced Swiatek into a backhand error.
'Wow!' - Zheng nails serve and volley to surprise Swiatek
After a comfort break, Swiatek came out firing at the start of the second set, breaking immediately to lay down an early marker.
Zheng hoped to hit back, but after seeing two break points come and go she was then broken to love for a second straight time.
The Chinese teenager then required a medical time out, and after she returned with a strapped right thigh, Swiatek pounced on her weakened opponent to break again and lead 5-0.
'Looking good' - Swiatek bagels struggling Zheng to level up fourth-round match
Swiatek sealed the bagel a game later, and the 2020 champion then continued to assert her dominance in the decider when once more breaking in the first game of the set.
Despite that injury concern in the second set, Zheng showed few signs of relenting in the same manner, but she was unable to get back on level terms as both players saved a flurry of break points in the third, fourth and fifth games.
Swiatek stepped up a level, though, to break again in the seventh, and a game later she served it out and celebrated victory for the 32nd time in a row.
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