Defending champion Swiatek not focused on records as she aims for third French Open title
The world’s number one tennis player, Iga Swiatek, is looking to make history at Roland Garros by winning her third French Open title. However, the Polish star says that she isn’t concerned with breaking records and is instead focusing on her own journey.
In an interview ahead of her second-round match against American Claire Liu, Swiatek played down talk of equaling the record of Serena Williams and Monica Seles at Roland Garros. “I play tennis but I’m not really an expert in terms of statistics and history,” said the defending champion. “I never even played Serena or Monica Seles.”
Swiatek faces off against Liu on Thursday while top-10 seeds Ons Jabeur, Elena Rybakina, and Coco Gauff will also be competing during the day session. Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev takes on Alex Molcan in a men’s singles night session match.
Night sessions continue to feature male players despite criticisms from female competitors
The tournament has come under fire for its lack of women’s matches during night sessions. Last year only one out of ten matches was a women’s match during the night session which led to criticism from director Amelie Mauresmo among others.
Sloane Stephens commented before Thursday’s schedule announcement that four out of four men’s matches being scheduled in the previous nights was disappointing considering equality discussions had taken place between players’ councils: “That’s not what we’re about.” The French Open remains unique because it only schedules one match per night compared to other Grand Slam tournaments scheduling two-night games each evening.
Women’s tournament features a stacked field of Grand Slam champions and rising stars
The women’s draw at this year’s French Open is filled with exciting players. Elena Rybakina, who was runner-up at the Australian Open earlier this year, faces talented Czech Linda Noskova while Coco Gauff plays Austrian Julia Grabher.
Ons Jabeur will also be in action as she takes on France’s Oceane Dodin while last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud faces Italian Giulio Zeppieri in the men’s singles competition.
In conclusion, Swiatek may not be focused on breaking records but her performance over recent years has earned her the position of defending champion and top seed for this year’s tournament. However, it remains to be seen whether night sessions featuring male players will remain a contentious issue or if steps towards equality can finally begin to take place throughout tennis tournaments worldwide.
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