Roland Garros: Iga Swiatek 'Enjoying' Pressure And Success Ahead Of Gauff Showdown - UBITENNIS
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Roland Garros: Iga Swiatek ‘Enjoying’ Pressure And Success Ahead Of Gauff Showdown

Iga Swiatek also spoke about comparisons with Steffi Graff after reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros.



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World number one Iga Swiatek admitted she is enjoying the pressures of success more in comparison with previous years as she reached the Roland Garros semi-finals.

The Pole’s bid for a fourth Roland Garros title continued as she dismantled Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova 6-0 6-2 in 62 minutes.

It was a clinical display from Swiatek as she once again proved that she is the player to beat at Roland Garros.

Speaking after her annihilation, Swiatek admitted she is feeling more confident with each match as she targets a third consecutive title in Paris, “Well, it was a really solid performance,” Swiatek underwhelmingly claimed it as.

“Probably the best I have had here, so I’m happy that my game is getting better and better every day and I feel pretty confident today.”

Swiatek’s confidence is clear to see as she aims for more Roland Garros success this year.

It would be Swiatek’s fourth title at Roland Garros if she were to win this year and the Pole was questioned about how she would describe her form in comparison to previous years.

The world number one admitted she feels more satisfaction with this year’s results as last year was stressful, “Well, I don’t really remember how I felt, honestly, because these tournaments are long and, like, I don’t remember, like every day, I would say,” Swiatek stated.

“But I remember last year was really stressful for me, so every match was, like, kind of like a relief, you know. Now I’m enjoying it more, and I have more satisfaction from just playing my game. Two years ago I would say in my mind it felt pretty similar, because I just felt like I had already a great season, and now I can just go for it, you know.

“And 2020, it doesn’t really fit anyway, because it was just all, you know, hectic and it was all a surprise.”

It’s clear that Swiatek is enjoying her tennis right now as she is already building a career that could be considered amongst the best of all-time.

Many people have already compared Swiatek to Steffi Graf, who won 22 Grand Slam singles titles.

The Pole spoke about Graff’s game and how she feels about the comparison, “She’s a great champion, and, well, it’s just nice that anybody would compare me to her,” Swiatek happily said.

“Because I feel like — I don’t know her, but I feel like maybe she was kind of a similar person to me because she also likes to keep her privacy, and now you can see that she’s just enjoying life and she knows that she worked hard to have a little bit of peace, you know, right now.

“I also heard from some people on tour that she was also kind of like an introvert, really in the zone and just focusing on tennis and what she wants to do. That’s what I heard tennis-wise. I mean, it’s kind of hard to compare because these were totally different times.

“Probably I don’t have such a good slice as her and volleys, but it’s nice that anybody would compare me to her, because she’s great.”

Swiatek will hope that she can have half the career that Graff had as the Pole looks to continue to cement her legacy.

Now Swiatek will continue her bid on Thursday for a fourth Roland Garros title when she takes on Coco Gauff.

Heading into the match the world number one has a 9-1 win-loss record against the US Open champion.

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Jasmine Paolini Looks Great, But Krejcikova Is Next At Wimbledon



Jasmine Paolini’s path to a Grand Slam title might have fallen apart in Wimbledon’s semifinals.

Barbara Krejcikova is just the kind of player Paolini might not want to face.

Otherwise, grass is good for Paolini. She just eats up all of those low ball-sliding grass shots that her opponents have been providing. Those shots are perfect for the 5-3 Italian. She doesn’t have to get down very low since she is naturally there already, and she has great quickness. So,  Wimbledon’s grass was made for someone like Paolini.


Krejcikova has a bag full of tricks to throw at Paolini. Balls come off her racket twisting and turning just enough to throw Paolini’s reach-back cocked forehands off their mark. And Krejcikova has the experience needed to bring home an overall 12th Grand Slam title.

But you have to admit that the stubby Paolini is quite a player. She’s like a bouncing ball running loose on the court.

Paolini definitely was a superb player against new star Emma Navarro, who could do little right against the little Italian. Paolini just did everything to Navarro’s game that Navarro had been using to dominate the Italian.


Navarro couldn’t take charge of the points against Paolini in the quarterfinals, just the opposite of Navarro’s play against powerful Coco Gauff in the round of 16.

But Krejcikova is so sly with her game that she can take the rhythm right out of Paolini’s game.

After all, Krejcikova won the 2021 French Open singles title. She also has been a part of doubles champions at all four Grand Slams, and has won a total of seven Grand Slam doubles titles and three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

That’s 11 Grand Slam titles. What’s another title to the 28-year-old Czech?


Donna Vekic had her chances to end Paolini’s march to Saturday’s final, but the 28-year-old Croatian seemed to go for broke every time down the stretch when she had an add or deuce point. That’s probably why the 28-year-old Vekic has never been ranked higher than 19th in the world.

Time after time Vekic went for the jugular with sizzling  cross-court shots that narrowly missed the lines late in the third set before losing, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6.

Of course, Paolini’s amazing quickness may have had something to do with those misses.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at 

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Inspiration Key To Italy’s Tennis Success, Says Jasmine Paolini



Jasmine Paolini - Wimbledon 2024 (X @wimbledon)

Unlike Italy’s disappointing exit from the Euros last month, their tennis stars continue to make waves at Wimbledon.  

Thursday at The All England Club saw Jasmine Paolini become the first woman from the country to reach a singles final in its history. The French Open finalist ousted Donna Vekic in a three-set epic, which was the longest semi-final match to take place in the women’s tournament. She is the first payer to reach the final of both Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same year since Serena Williams in 2016. 

Paolini, who had never won a match at the grasscourt major until this year, isn’t the only Italian success. In the men’s draw, Lorenzo Musetti is enjoying his best-ever run at a major event after beating Taylor Fritz in a five-set battle on Wednesday. There is also Jannik Sinner who holds the ATP No.1 ranking, as well as many other strong players.

So how has Italy become such a force in tennis?

“I think we are inspiring each other,” Paolini commented on Thursday.
“I have to say in Italy there are many, many tournaments, like challengers, ITF, juniors.
“I think every player shows that something can be possible. Jannik is showing that. In Italy now it’s normal to have Jannik as No. 1. Normal, no, but he’s doing unbelievable things. I think he lost three matches this year, so it’s unbelievable to have him in that position. I think it helps all the movement behind it.
“Now we have many, many players that are doing really, really well, apart from Sinner.”

As it currently stands, Italy has nine men in the ATP top 100 and another five in the women’s top 100. The country also has a series of promising youngsters rising up the ranks. 

As for Musetti’s chances of matching Paolini’s run by reaching the final, he faces a tough task. He will next take on Novak Djokovic who is bidding to win a record-equalling eighth title at SW19. It will be the seventh meeting between the two with Musetti only winning one of their previous encounters on the clay. 

“Lorenzo is a really nice guy,” said Paolini. 
“I’m so happy for him. He has a huge talent. I think really good person. Hopefully, he can play a good match.”

This year’s Wimbledon featured three Italians in the singles quarter-finals (including Sinner who lost to Daniil Medvedev) for the first time in history. 

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‘It’s Tough To Be Positive’ – Tearful Donna Vekic On Wimbledon Exit



Donna Vekic - Wimbledon 2024 (foto X @WTA)

Donna Vekic felt like she was ‘going to die’ during the third set of her record-breaking match against Jasmine Paolini at Wimbledon on Thursday. 

The Croat narrowly missed out on a place in her first Grand Slam final after losing 10-8 to Paolini in the decisive tiebreaker. Vekic battled on the court for two hours and 51 minutes in what was the longest women’s semi-final match to ever take place at SW19. After taking the first set, she got broken when down 4-5 in the second and then failed to maintain a 3-1 advantage in the decider. 

Thursday’s defeat is a bitter pill for Vekic to swallow who was visibly emotional during her press conference.

“I believed that I could win until the end. She played some amazing tennis. All congrats to her. She definitely deserved it.” She said. 
“She doesn’t have the best serve, but she’s serving well enough. I felt like also in the third set she was returning well.”

During stages of the match, Vekic looked weary on the court and was shaking her right arm at one stage, which was presumably due to cramping. Five out of her six matches played at the tournament had gone the full distance. The only exception was her second round clash against Erika Andreeva. 

“I thought I was going to die in the third set. I had so much pain in my arm, in my leg. It was not easy out there, but I will recover.” She said. 
“I was more crying because I had so much pain, I didn’t know how I could keep playing.”

Still, there are plenty of positives to draw from the grass swing for Vekic during what has been a roller-coaster season. At one stage of this year she failed to win back-to-back matches at five consecutive tournaments. But on the grass, she has faired better with a run to the final in Bad Homburg before Wimbledon.

However, with the defeat still fresh in her mind, it is tough for the world No.37 to look on the bright side at the moment.

“My team tells me that I can be proud of myself. It’s tough right now. It’s tough. I will need to take a couple of days to see everything.” She explains.
“It’s tough to be positive right now. It was so close. I had a lot of chances.”

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