Her title-defense in singles may have ended in the quarter-finals, but Iga Swiatek is still alive and kicking at Roland-Garros.
Partnering veteran American star Bethanie Mattek Sands, the current women’s World No.9 stormed into the doubles final at the French Open on Friday, trouncing the Romanian-Argentine pair of Irina-Camelia Begu and Nadia Podoroska 6-3, 6-4.
After overnight rest and recovery, the pair will return on Saturday to gun for the title against the Czech pair of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
Bethanie Mattek Sands says playing with Iga Swiatek makes it easier to get past rivals
Speaking to the press after the resounding semi-final win at the Court Simmone-Mathieu, Mattek-Sands paid a rich compliment to her partner, saying she plays every shot in the book and has “plenty of options”, making it easier for them to get past opponents.
"Whatever my partner's favorite shot is, that’s what I want her to see the most on court. When it comes to Iga, you have a lot of options because she can hit pretty much every shot.”@matteksands + @iga_swiatek are no odd couple at #RolandGarros
— David Kane (@DKTNNS) June 11, 2021
“Whatever my partner’s favorite shot is, that’s what I want her to see the most on court. When it comes to Iga, you have a lot of options because she can hit pretty much every shot,” the American said.
The Polish-American pair has looked in irrepressible form and should fancy their chances against the Czech pair in the final.
Swiatek failed to defend her 2019 singles title this year
Coming into Roland-Garros on the back of her maiden Masters 1000 title and her first Tour championship win on clay in Rome, Swiatek opened her campaign with an emphatic win over Slovakian Kaja Juvan.
The 20-year-old followed up her opening-round victory with clinical wins over Swede Rebecca Peterson, tricky Estonian Anett Kontaveit and Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine to reach the quarters.
However, she couldn’t get past a determined Maria Sakkari, arguably playing the best tennis of her life, eventually going down in straight sets.Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 31, 2021 Poland’s Iga Swiatek in action during her first round match against Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
The Pole, who had combined power, finesse and precision to deadly effect against previous opponents, came up short against the big-hitting Greek as she lost 4-6, 4-6.
Sakkari, as it turned out, made a heartbreaking exit in the semifinals after failing to come through a grueling and nerve-wracking three-setter against Krejcikova.