Iga Svitek is still the only female pick in the top 10 at the French Open after losing 6-3, 7-5 to Danka Kovinic in third-round action at Roland Garros on Saturday.
Entering the game of the day, Suitek, ranked No. 1 in the women’s draw, Paola Badosa, ranked No. 3 in Spain, and Arena Sabalenka, ranked No. 7 in Belarus, were the only top 10 picks.
But in the second set, Badosa retired due to injury against Russia’s Veronica Kudermetova (29), and Camilla Giorgi of Italy (26) overtook Sabalenka by three sets.
The second highest remaining after Swiatek is 11th Jessica Pegula, who lost to Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek 6-1, 7-6 (2).
With his win over Kovinique in Montenegro, Suatek extended his winning streak to 31 matches. At the 2020 French Open title list, the Polish star has now won 17 of his 19 career matches at Roland Garros.
His winning streak puts SWATECH in a rare company this century. The 20-year-old needs just one more win to tie Justin Henin’s 32 streak in 2007-08. Serena Williams hit 34 straight in 2013 and Venus Williams hit 35 straight in 2000.
During the streak, Swiatek won titles in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome.
Svetek was not in his usual sharp nature against Kovinik, who converted his three service break opportunities. Swiatek has just 13 winners against 23 unforced errors.
“I changed the strategy a bit in the second set for a less risky game, but then I did something wrong,” said Swatech. “I missed my break. I’m not entirely happy with it, but overall I’m happy with the performance, and I’m back in the second set.
In the fourth round, Swatech will face 19-year-old Qinwein Zheng of China, who has reached the Major Fourth Round for the first time. France’s Alice Cornet retires due to injury to her left thigh, leading 6-0, 3-0 back.
The injury bug also hit Badosa, who took a medical timeout in the second set for treatment of a right foot problem but retired 6-3, 2-1 behind. As a result, Kudarmetova reached the final 16 of the Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
Kudarmetova will face No. 22 seed Madison Kisser to advance to the quarterfinals. Kiss hit 44 winners and rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3) victory over Kazakhstan’s 16th seed Elena Rybakina.
Sabalenca went 1-0 up but there was no answer for Giorgio in the last two sets, winning just one of 13 games. In all, Sabalenka won just 60 percentage points from his first serve, compared to 76 per cent for his opponents, and his serve broke six times.
Giorgio has now won five of his last seven matches against top-10 players. In the fourth round, he will play against Russian Daria Kasatkina. Seed No. 20, Casatkina cruised American Shelby Rogers in a straight set.
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