Monday, June 17, 2024

French Open: Iga Swiatek deemed ‘best player in the world’ by Carlos Alcaraz amid dominance at Roland Garros

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World No. 1 Iga Swiatek has dominated the women’s tennis scene the last few years and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. As she continues to shine, other top competitors are taking notice, including men’s tennis star Carlos Alcaraz.

“Iga is the best player in the world right now,” Alcaraz told CBS Sports. “She is playing great tennis … All she has done is unbelievable.” 

Alcaraz is currently on the cover of Top Spin 2K25 along with Swiatek and Francis Tiafoe. They joined an elite list of players that include Serena Williams and Roger Ferderer in the Legends roster. 

“Those two? Legends,” Alcaraz said of Williams and Federer. “Not only in tennis, but in sports in general. A lot of athletes look up to them and it’s amazing to have them as ambassadors of tennis.” 

Swiatek and Alcaraz are currently the favorites to win their respective singles competitions in this year’s French Open. The former has not lost a match at Roland Garros since 2021, and she arrived to Paris fresh off title victories in Madrid and Rome.

A 23-year-old from Poland, Swiatek has been on the rise for a while. She had a 37-match win streak in 2022, marking the longest WTA winning streak since Martina Hingis started the 1997 season 37-0. In 2023, Swiatek became the first player since Serena Williams to win WTA Player of the Year in consecutive years. 

As Swiatek chases a three-peat at Roland Garros, she has mostly been cruising — except for the second round, when she almost suffered an upset loss to Naomi Osaka. Swiatek used that second-round match as a wake up call, leading to one of the most dominant performances of her career: a 6-0, 6-0 win over Anastasia Potapova that took only only 40 minutes. It was the shortest tour-level match of her career. 

Swiatek defeated Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2 in the quarterfinals Tuesday and will now face American star Coco Gauff in Thursday’s semifinals. That will be a rematch of the 2022 French Open final, a match Swiatek won 6-1, 6-3. 

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