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Swiatek crushes qualifier to start French Open defence

Top seed Iga Swiatek has cruised past qualifier Leolia Jeanjean 6-1 6-2 to successfully launch her title defence at the French Open, where she's seeking a fourth title on the Paris clay.

The 22-year-old world No.1, who has won the French Open three times in the last four years, arrived in Paris on the back of a 12-match winning streak on clay, having rolled through the tournaments in Madrid and Rome.

Swiatek will next face former world No.1 Naomi Osaka in an eye-catching second-round match.

"Nowadays, in the women's draw you can play grand slam champions early in the tournament," said Swiatek. "It is pretty tricky because you know these players are really experienced.

"They also achieved many great things. So they have bigger kind of belief, I would say, as well."

Swiatek, who has now won her last 15 matches in Paris following her back-to-back wins in 2022 and 2023, did not need much time to show she was determined to stretch that winning run, breaking her opponent in the first game.

A superb forehand down the line put Swiatek 4-1 up before running away with the first set in half an hour.

The Frenchwoman, ranked outside the top 100, tried to draw a line under the first set, breaking the Pole at the start of the second outing but was broken straight back.

Swiatek, who has now won 29 of her first 31 matches at the French Open, held serve before earning another break to go 5-2 up, having hit 24 winners at that stage compared to her opponents' two. She ended the contest on her first match point and with winner number 26.

The Pole's dominance in recent years, especially on clay, has seen Swiatek compared with 14-time men's Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal.

"I think it's too early (to be called the Queen of Clay). For sure I' m proud of my achievements," said Swiatek. "It's always been my favourite surface. It is where tennis gives me the most pleasure."

"Comparing me to him - I don't think I am on that level yet. I still have many things to prove. I'm just at the beginning."

Coco Gauff also made a strong start, dispatching German Julia Avdeeva 6-1 6-1 for her 50th grand slam match victory.

The 20-year-old American, who won the US Open last year to break her grand slam duck, is looking to claim her first French Open title after losing the 2022 final in Paris.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova was also largely untroubled, the Czech beating Spain's Rebeka Masarova 6-1 6-3.

Tunisian Ons Jabeur, beaten by Vondrousova in last year's Wimbledon final, eased through 6-3 6-2 against American wildcard Sachia Vickery, avenging a Roland Garros defeat by the same player in 2018.