“Naomi Osaka's tennis deserves to be on the biggest stages” – Iga Swiatek speaks highly of Japanese after narrow escape in French Open 2R thriller

Naomi Osaka (L) and Iga Swiatek. PHOTO: GETTY
Naomi Osaka (L) and Iga Swiatek. PHOTO: GETTY

Iga Swiatek spoke highly of Naomi Osaka after the two battled it out in a second-round thriller at the French Open on Wednesday, May 29. Swiatek notably saved a match point to edge out the Japanese and book her place in the third round of the clay-court Major.

The match witnessed a disciplined start as the two players broke each other once in the first set, with Osaka notably throwing away a set point to induce a tiebreaker that Swiatek won easily.

However, Osaka roared back into the match and won the second set 6-1 before leading 5-2 in the third. The Japanese had a match point which she failed to convert, and Swiatek ended up winning five games on the trot to register a 7-6(6), 1-6, 7-5 victory. The Pole now leads 2-1 in the head-to-head between the two.

Following the match, the World No. 1 heaped praise on Naomi Osaka and said that she deserved to be at the top level.

"Honestly, I just think about the journey that she had and I’m happy that she’s back because her tennis deserves to be on the biggest stages and she deserves to be there because she has great tennis," the 22-year-old said during her post-match press conference.
"It wasn’t easy on her but if she’s going to play better and better, it means that she did some work to improve and that’s why I think in sports, it’s fair that when you’re working, hard, you know, you’re going to see the results," she added.

Iga Swiatek: "Naomi Osaka's a mother and it must be hard to combine two things"

Naomi Osaka hits a forehand during French Open 2024. GETTY
Naomi Osaka hits a forehand during French Open 2024. GETTY

In the aforementioned press conference, Iga Swiatek also said that she held Naomi Osaka in high regard for juggling motherhood and tennis after the birth of her daughter Shai in July 2023.

"She played amazing today, I have big respect for her coming back also because of the things that she always struggled with but, another thing, she’s a mother and I mean, I’ve never been in such a situation but it must be hard to combine two things and come back after maternity leaves," Iga Swiatek said.

She then hoped to have another thrilling encounter with Osaka on the court.

"Maybe we can some another thriller, next time, we’ll see," Iga Swiatek said laughing.

Swiatek will next face either Marie Bouzkova or Jana Fett in the third round of the French Open.

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