Swiatek romps past Riske as Zheng stuns Halep at French Open

·2 min read

Contrasting fortunes for former champions highlighted the fifth day of action at the French Open on Thursday. The 2020 winner Iga Swiatek racked up her 30th successive victory to reach the last 32 while Simona Halep, the queen of 2018, went down in three sets to the Chinese teenager Qinwen Zheng.

Swiatek pulverized the unseeded American Alison Riske 6-0, 6-2 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

She swept through the first set in 22 minutes and won the first three games of the second set.

The 20-year-old Pole then had two separate chances to clock up her 10th consecutive game but the world number 43 dug in and held her service to get on the board after 42 minutes of play.

But the end was not far off.

Riske, a former top 20 player, claimed only another game as Swiatek surged away to a meeting with Danka Kovinic from Montenegro.


While Swiatek sailed, Halep foundered. The Romanian, seeded 19th, breezed through the opener 6-2 against a 19-year-old opponent making her debut in the senior draw.

But the former world number one could not sustain the dominance. Zheng dished out the same scoreline in the second set and ruthlessly overpowered an increasingly immobile Halep.

She broke to lead 5-1 in the decider and terminated Halep's participation without fuss.

"I've worked hard to be able to play here," said the world number 74.

"I played here as a junior," she added. "And now to be here as a professional is amazing and to play in front of so many people."

Third seed Paula Badosa also progressed to the third round. The 24-year-old Spaniard, who reached the last eight in 2021, took the first set against the unseeded Slovenian Kaja Juvan 7-5.

But she struggled with consistency during the second set and lost it.

But she recovered her poise and power and claimed the decider 6-2.

Eighth seed Karolina Pliskova also departed. The French player Léolia Jeanjean, who was given an invitation into the main draw by the French tennis federation, beat her 6-2, 6-2 to reach the third round in her first Grand Slam tournament.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting