Tuesday, June 06, 2023
Defending champion Iga Swiatek had a quick and easy path to the quarter-finals of the French Open on Monday. Her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko from Ukraine, retired from the match after feeling unwell.
Swiatek was leading 4-1 in the first set when Tsurenko called for the trainer to check her blood pressure and pulse. After a short medical timeout, the match resumed, but Tsurenko decided to quit after losing the next game to love.
Tsurenko apologised to Swiatek and explained that she had been dealing with a virus for a couple of days. Despite her best efforts to prepare for the match, she couldn't overcome her worsening condition. Tsurenko mentioned having a sore throat and being able to practice for only 10 minutes the previous day. She believed she needed a few more days to recover.
Swiatek's next opponent in the quarter-finals will be American player Coco Gauff, setting up a rematch of last year's final, which Swiatek won convincingly. Swiatek has spent just over four hours on the court so far in the tournament, having dropped only nine games. She is aiming to win her third French Open title in four years.
Tsurenko, ranked 66th in the world, struggled from the start of the match against Swiatek. Despite managing to break back once, her physical condition deteriorated rapidly. She asked for the trainer's assistance and was given permission to continue playing, but it became evident that she couldn't perform at her best and decided to retire.
Swiatek expressed her disappointment at winning the match in such a manner, but she acknowledged the importance of managing her energy throughout the tournament. She feels more prepared and less exhausted this time, relying on her experience to handle the demands of a Grand Slam event.
Swiatek's quarter-final berth at the French Open is expected given her status as the defending champion and world number one. However, she humorously mentioned that reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon would make her extremely happy. Gauff, her upcoming opponent, also secured her place in the quarter-finals with a straight-set victory. Last year, Swiatek defeated Gauff in the final to claim the championship title.