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Thursday, July 7, 2022

No. 1 Swietec focuses on French Open amid 31-match race

PARIS ( Associated Press) — No. 1 ranked Inga Swietec lost 31 matches in a row — and even since he gave so much as a set — more than a month ago – It’s been so long that he can be forgiven if he doesn’t remember how to react to trouble on the tennis court.

Which is why it was worth watching as the 2020 French Open champion navigated some difficult spots in the third round at Roland Garros on Saturday.

It turned out that vetek was not nervous and did not allow ideas to end on this major run, which would lead to a 6–3, 7–5 win against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

“Thinking about all these statistics, it’s not really helpful. So basically I try to be really strict in terms of my thoughts and try to really focus on finding solutions,” Poland Said 20-year-old Sweetek, whose last name is shvee-ON’-tek. “There are ideas, but I’m going to admit it.”

Kovinic also took a relaxed look at Sweetek’s predecessor, ex-retired Ash Barty, in the WTA rankings during a 6-0, 6-0 loss at the Australian Open in January.

After Saturday’s tremors, Kovinic said she was dealing with a nerve problem in her right shoulder and felt tingling in that arm and two of her fingers. She also said that she made sure to send Sweetek a message when she shook hands on the net.

“I told him, ‘Keep going.’ For tennis, for our sport, what she’s doing, it’s really great. Obviously, she has something extra that the rest of us don’t have.”

Well, let’s try to answer. For example, Swietec’s service is solid, but not particularly fast; Her fastest Saturday was 108 mph, slower than the 7 mph speed produced by Kovinick. Sweetek’s groundstrokes are smooth, sure, but as with anyone, they’re liable to wobble; His forehand was particularly problematic on windy afternoons, with temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit (Celsius in his teens), accounting for 17 of his 23 unforced errors.

Speed ​​guns and figures, however, cannot account for two traits: the ability to be in the moment and the willingness to corner.

Initially, when the 3-0 lead was reduced to 4-3, Sweetek held on to that set with eight consecutive points. In the second, she lost four straight games and went down 5-4. Might be time to think, “Uh, oh.” Instead, Sweetek adjusted to Kovinic’s style, using deceit rather than attempting to match power with power, and he closed the last three games again to finish the job.

“Certainly,” said Sweetek, “played a little smarter.”

Her next opponent is 19-year-old Zheng Qinwen of China, who is ranked 74th and in her second Grand Slam tournament.

“I really want to play against him,” said Zheng, who was leading 6-0, 3-0 when Alizee Cornet stopped play due to an injured left leg.

The other women are fourth-rounder Jessica Pegula versus Irina-Camellia Begu, who was fined $10,000 after throwing a racket that bounced off the stands and brushed a child in the stands earlier in the week; Daria Kasatkina vs Camilla Giorgi; Veronika Kudermatova vs Elena Rybakina or Madison Keys.

The men’s relatively surprising results continued, with No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 7 Andrey Rublev, No. 11 Jannik Sinner, No. 12 Hubert Harkaz and No. 20 Marin Cilic leading. Everyone won in straight sets except for Rublev, who needed four.

The men’s top seven seeds are in the fourth round; 8 Casper Roode played later on Saturday.

11 Pegula, whose parents own the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabers, and Sweetek are the only two of the remaining top 15 seeds in the women’s section.

“He’s a hit on another level than all of us right now. Yeah, it’s a little scary,” said Pegula, who needed 10 match points to close off his first-round win, then in his next match. Eight more, but sealed Saturday’s 6-1, 7-6(2) win over 2021 semifinalist Tamara Zidansek on her opening spot.

One win each, and Sweetek becomes Pegula’s problem in the quarterfinals.

“Her athleticism and defensive skills are really, really good. And then, I think, she’s gotten a lot more aggressive this year. She’s been more aggressive when she needed to,” Pegula said.

Sweetek has won 48 of his last four tournaments and his last 49 sets; The exception came against Lyudmila Samsonova in the semi-finals in Stuttgart on 23 April. Swietec’s last match was against 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, losing in the round of 16 in Dubai on 16 February.

She has won a total of 15 sets this season with a 6-0 scoreline, but Sweetek showed on Saturday that she can handle it when things get tight.

“It wasn’t surprising, it wasn’t strange,” Sweetek said. “It’s not that I forgot how to play a set like this.”

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More Associated Press Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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