Swiatek on streak entering French Open
Rome: If there's been one point during Iga Swiatek's three-month unbeaten run that encapsulates why the top-ranked player has become nearly impossible to beat, it's surely a 19-shot rally that she won against Ons Jabeur in the Italian Open final.
The point showed off all of the elements of Swiatek's game, which explains why the 20-year-old Polish player is an overwhelming favorite to win her second French Open title when the clay-court Grand Slam begins on Sunday.
After climbing back from a 0-40 deficit and facing a fourth break point late in the second set of a 6-2, 6-2 victory, Swiatek really found her rhythm. She ran down two drop shots, retrieved a passing shot up the line which landed on the line and finally won it with a backhand stop-volley drop shot.
On display were Swiatek's heavy topspin forehand, her expert court coverage and swift movement, her hands and feel for the ball at the net, and perhaps most importantly her never-give-up attitude, which is so essential on clay.
I kind of shifted my attitude from, 'Whoa, she's going to spread me around now,' to, I'm going to get to every ball now and play every point till the last shot,' Swiatek said.
Maybe even more telling was Swiatek's reaction after she won the point: Instead of celebrating, she immediately went and checked the ball mark from Jabeur's passing attempt, holding up her finger to the chair umpire to indicate that she thought the ball was out. That thought likely crept into Swiatek's head during the point, but she was able to compartmentalize and maintain her unrelenting focus on the task at hand until raising the issue after the point was over.
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