Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff sprint into French Open quarterfinal

Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff sprint into French Open quarterfinal

/ 09:23 PM June 02, 2024

Iga Swiatek French Open

Poland’s Iga Swiatek celebrates after defeating Russia’s Anastasia Potapova during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS — After the French Open marathon came the sprints.

Defending champion Iga Swiatek swept into the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in just 40 minutes after a crushing 6-0, 6-0 win against Anastasia Potapova.

U.S. Open champion Coco Gauff took only 60 minutes to rout unseeded Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1, 6-2.

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READ: Iga Swiatek comes back to beat Naomi Osaka at French Open

The 20-year-old American looked set for an even quicker victory when she led 5-0, but Cocciaretto fought back, getting a hearty cheer from the crowd after winning the next game.

Swiatek won without even facing a game point against her. The match ended when Potapova hit a forehand into the net on the first match point.

“I was just really focused and in the zone,” Swiatek said. “It went pretty quickly, pretty weird.”

Their match started at around 11 a.m. on Court Philippe Chatrier.

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That’s just eight hours after men’s defending champion Novak Djokovic finished his five-set, 4 1/2-hour marathon against Lorenzo Musetti at just after 3 a.m. in the latest finish in tournament history.

READ: French Open: Djokovic says ‘things could be handled differently’ after 3 am finish

Swiatek said late finishes don’t just end with the match and are not healthy.

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“It’s not like we’re going to fall asleep one hour after the match. Usually it takes us, like, four hours to even chill, and you need to do recovery, media. It’s not like the work ends when the match point,” she said. “I was always one of the players that said that we should start a little bit earlier. Also, I don’t know if the fans (who) are watching these matches if they have to go to work next day.”

Gauff thinks the issue needs addressing.

Coco Gauff French Open

Coco Gauff of the U.S. plays a shot against Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

“It’s a complicated thing,” she said. “But I definitely think for the health and safety of the players it would be in the sport’s best interest to try to avoid those matches finishing, or starting, after a certain time.”

While Gauff thinks players should really be listened to more, she says there’s also a fine balance to be struck.

“Obviously I don’t want to complain too much about it because we are very blessed and privileged to be playing for a lot of money. There’s people working real jobs under worse conditions for less money and just trying to get by,” she said. “It’s just tough for me knowing where some of my family come from and where things are, and I think about the people hearing this. Yes, if I was a person working, I would be upset to hear, you know, players complain.”

READ: Iga Swiatek exits Miami Open with Coco Gauff after upsets

Swiatek remains on course for her third consecutive French Open title and fourth overall. The top-ranked Pole will play Wimbleon champion Marketa Vondrousova after the fifth-seeded Czech beat unseeded Serb Olga Danilovic 6-4, 6-2.

Gauff, who faces either No. 8-seeded Ons Jabeur or unseeded Clara Tauson, looked sharp at the net and was happy with her sliding on clay.

“I’m lucky to train on clay since I was 10, which is not common for most Americans,” said Gauff, who followed Swiatek onto Court Philippe Chatrier.

Midway through the second set of Gauff’s match came the loudest cheer of the day. Not for a great passing shot or a crisp volley at the net, but because the sun finally returned from vacation after five consecutive days with rain delays

Later Sunday, Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner and two-time Grand Slam winner Carlos Alcaraz were in men’s fourth-round action.

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Second-seeded Sinner faced Frenchman Corentin Moutet and third-seeded Alcaraz played No. 21-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

TAGS: Coco Gauff, French Open, Iga Swiatek

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