'Sickening': Unbelievable Iga Swiatek moment stuns French Open

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Iga Swiatek (pictured right) smiles during an interview and (pictured left) hits a forehand winner.
Iga Swiatek (pictured right) produced a jaw-dropping moment in her French Open Third Round win. (Images: Eurosport/Getty Images)

World No.1 Iga Swiatek showed why she is the strong favourite to win the French Open after producing a jaw-dropping moment in her Round Three win.

The seemingly-unstoppable Polish superstar is the only top-10 seed remaining after the third round after rivals Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka joined the early exodus of leading seeds from Roland Garros on Saturday.

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Spanish third seed Badosa retired at 6-3, 2-1 against Veronika Kudermetova while Sabalenka, seeded seventh, lost 12 of the last 13 games - including eight in a row - against Italy's Camila Giorgi.

But it was the 2020 champion who impressed with a 6-3, 7-5 defeat of Danka Kovinic.

And during the match, the 20-year-old produced a jaw-dropping rally that left her opponent stunned.

At 3-1, Swiatek produced a sweeping forehand return off the serve that left Kovinic stunned.

"Ooh! Right into the corner!" Eurosport commentator Simon Reed said.

"She is applauded by her opponent, which is good to see. It must be sickening to take!"

World No.1 Iga Swiatek marches on at French Open

It has been over 100 days - and 31 matches - since Swiatek last lost.

"Thinking about all these stats, it's not really helpful. So basically I try to be really strict in terms of my thoughts and try to really focus on ... finding solutions," said 20-year-old Swiatek.

Her next opponent is Zheng Qinwen, a 19-year-old from China who is ranked 74th and in her second grand slam tournament.

The next highest-ranked opponent remaining in the draw is American Jessica Pegula, the 11th seed, who powered into the last 16 for the first time with a 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) win over last year's semi-finalist Tamara Zidansek.

Swiatek and Pegula are on course for a quarter-final clash.

Badosa was forced to retire with a right calf injury. She required medical attention during her match and then decided early in the second set that she could no longer continue.

Iga Swiatek (pictured) wearing her ribbon supporting Ukraine during her match against Danka Kovinic at the 2022 French Open.
Iga Swiatek (pictured) wearing her ribbon supporting Ukraine during her match against Danka Kovinic at the 2022 French Open. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Kudermetova will face the American No.22 seed, Madison Keys, who beat the No.16 seed Elena Rybakina, of Kazakhstan, 3-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3).

Sabalenka went down to big-hitting Italian Giorgi 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 on Court Simonne Mathieu.

Sabalenka, a former world No.2, won a hard-fought opening set but then was reduced to a mere spectator as Giorgi scorched the court with winners.

The Belarusian managed to win only one more game as Giorgi completed a remarkable comeback win in an hour and 42 minutes.

The 30-year-old Giorgi will next meet the No.20 seed Daria Kasatkina.

France's Alize Cornet was also forced to retired but said she was more hurt by the jeering from her home crowd than the pain from her injury.

Cornet pulled out while trailing 6-0, 3-0 to Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen.

With both her thigh muscles heavily bandaged, the 32-year-old Cornet was barely able to move around on court and later said that she had torn an abductor muscle during her win over Jelena Ostapenko.

"What is amazing is that people dared to boo me on the court when I had to abandon the match. And it was because I was in pain," she said. "But sometimes the French audience surprises me and not always in the right direction."

Cornet's loss and the end of the fairytale run of local wildcard and grand slam debutant Leolia Jeanjean ended the French challenge in the women's draw.

Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu took 85 minutes to defeat Jeanjean 6-1 6-4 and will meet Pegula.

with AAP

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