'Increase Security' The Best Way To Deal With Protest Threat, Says No.1 Iga Swiatek - UBITENNIS
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‘Increase Security’ The Best Way To Deal With Protest Threat, Says No.1 Iga Swiatek

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Iga Swiatek says some members of the public ‘want attention and they’re willing to do anything‘ amid the increase in protests taking place during tennis tournaments in recent months. 

Earlier this week at the Italian Open, two matches had to be suspended after climate protesters got onto the court. According to organisers, they threw confetti onto the court and glued themselves to the stands before eventually getting removed from the premises. Climate change activist group Ultima Generazione (Last Generation) claimed responsibility for the protest. In a video posted on social media, they said they wanted to “tirelessly reiterate that the climate and social crisis is here and that intervention is needed as soon as possible.”

It is not the first time such protests have taken place with last year’s Wimbledon tournament also experiencing similar incidents, as well as the Citi Open in Washington and US Open in New York. Protesters chose to disrupt sports events to generate maximum publicity. 

Questioned about any concerns she had for player safety in Rome, world No.1 Swiatek told reporters on Tuesday that the best way to address the issue is to increase security. 

“Probably the best way is to increase security,” she commented after beating Madison Keys 6-1, 6-3. 
“I’m not really sure how the security works because I’ve never had any situation where they had to kind of react when I was on court.
“I didn’t see the protest (earlier this week). I heard that there’s something going on. I don’t know if they were actually close to players or not.
“People want attention and they’re willing to do anything to get it. That’s how our world works right now.”

Elaborating further, Swiatek spoke about the stabbing of Monica Seles during the 1993 Hamburg Open which shocked the sports world. A crazed Steffi Graf fan stabbed the tennis star in her back during a changeover which caused both physical and mental repercussions. After the stabbing, it was more than two years before Seles played a Tour-level match again. 

“When I kind of saw what happened to Monica Seles, I for sure had a couple of weeks where I thought about it sometimes.” She said.
“The only thing you need to do is to trust that, if the situation happens, WTA will be ready with their security to react. That’s all.”

Swiatek will play Coco Gauff in the semi-finals of the Italian Open later this week. 

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Novak Djokovic ‘Excited’ For French Open Showdown Between Nadal And Zverev

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On Thursday Novak Djokovic learned his path to French Open glory but all the talk surrounds one particular match that doesn’t involve him.

In a first round blockbuster, 14-time champion Rafael Nadal takes on an in-form Alexander Zverev in what could be the last time he plays at the clay-court major. Zverev recently claimed his first Masters title since 2021 at the Italian Open. At the same tournament, Nadal reached the second round before losing to Hubert Hurkacz. 

The clash will be a repeat of the 2022 French Open semi-final which the king of clay won in unfortunate circumstances after Zverev sustained a serious ankle injury. Overall, Nadal leads their head-to-head 7-3 but it has been two years since their last meeting. 

Quizzed about the upcoming match following his quarter-final win over Tallon Griekspoor at the Geneva Open, Djokovic believes it will be an ‘interesting’ showdown. 

“It’s going to be showtime and I’m excited to see that,” RTS quoted Djokovic as saying. 
“I know Rafa won’t want it, but I think it can be a game scheduled for the evening… In any case, it will be very interesting because Zverev is in great shape. But on the Roland-Garros court, Rafa is Rafa…” 

Djokovic is hoping to get a boost ahead of the French Open by winning the Geneva trophy to claim what would be his first title of the season. Earlier this week he became the third player in the Open Era to win 1100 Tour matches. Against Griekspoor he dropped six games during his 7-5, 6-1 victory. 

“It was a great win. I thought the first set could have gone his way easily because I think he was a better player for most of the first set,” Djokovic commented on his latest victory. 
“We could have been having a completely different direction of the match if he converted those set points. 
“I was lucky to find some really good serves, and from that moment onwards I really, really played some good, solid tennis.” 

Djokovic will next play Tomas Machac on Friday. The match takes place two days before the start of the French Open.

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Roland Garros 2024: Iga Swiatek Aims To Overcome Naomi Osaka And Danielle Collins In Hat-Trick Bid

Iga Swiatek is the firm favourite in Paris once again as she looks to secure a third consecutive Roland Garros title.

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Iga Swiatek will need to overcome Naomi Osaka and Danielle Collins if she wants to win a third consecutive Roland Garros title.

The world number one is looking for more history in Paris and enters the tournament in confident form having won the Madrid-Rome double.

Swiatek will start her hat-trick bid against a qualifier before potentially facing Naomi Osaka in the second round.

Veronika Kudermetova could await in the third round with former champion Barbora Krejcikova awaiting in the last 16.

Former finalist Marketa Vondrousova or the in-form Danielle Collins complete a tough section of the draw for the three-time champion.

Potentially awaiting Swiatek in the semi-finals is the player she beat in 2022 to win the title in the form of Coco Gauff.

The American starts her campaign against a qualifier with Dayana Yastremska potentially awaiting in the third round.

A tough last 16 clash could await against Beatriz Haddad Maia with Jelena Ostapenko, Caroline Garcia and Ons Jabeur all potential quarter-final hurdles.

In the bottom half of the draw, Aryna Sabalenka has been given a very tough draw especially in the third round where Paula Badosa, Yulia Putintseva or Sloane Stephens could be present.

In-form Madison Keys could await in the last 16 while Maria Sakkari is in her quarter of the draw.

Sakkari starts against Varvara Gracheva before potentially facing Victoria Azarenka or Daria Kasatkina in the last 16.

Should Sabalenka get to the semi-finals then Elena Rybakina could await with the Kazakh facing Greet Minnen in her opener.

Former Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber could be Rybakina’s second round opponent.

Elina Svitolina could await in the last 16 but the Ukrainian must get past Karolina Pliskova in her opener.

Finally Alize Cornet’s last ever tournament will start against Australian Open finalist Qinwen Zheng.

Here is the full draw with play starting on Sunday:

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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