Swiatek Slays Paris, Again — Quotes from Roland Garros Champs — Must-click women’s tennis links

The IX: Tennis Tuesday with Joey Dillon, June 7, 2022

Happy Tennis Tuesday and Happy June! Roland Garros wrapped up this weekend and just like every Grand Slam, I love to end with my own thoughts a la Jon Wertheim’s Parting Thoughts.

Let’s start with the obvious — Iga Swiatek. The Pole captured her second Roland Garros title with only the loss of one set in her seven matches. With the win, she ties Venus Williams for the longest winning streak since 2000 at 35 matches. The World No. 1 became just the tenth player in the Open Era to win multiple titles in Paris. The big question remains: where does she go now?

How about a round of applause for Coco Gauff, who not only reached the singles final, but in doubles too? It was almost 3 years ago where she qualified for Wimbledon and upset Venus Williams in the first round. Now, she’s knocking on the Top 10’s door and has had an incredible, consistent trajectory upwards

Though they’re the 2016 champions, Kristina Mladenovic and Carolina Garcia needed a wildcard into the women’s doubles draw. However, after battling from a set down for a third time, they beat Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula in front of their home crowd. It’s the fourth Paris title for Mladenovic, while the second for Garcia.

Ena Shibihara won her first Grand Slam at the senior level, winning the mixed doubles title with Wesley Koolhof over Ulrikke Eikeri and Joran Vliegen. Two things to note: how cool for Norway to be represented in a Grand Slam final for the first time in an Open Era. But, how about we up the pay for the mixed doubles draw?

The Czech train continues to plow through, with Lucie Havlickova winning the Girl’s Singles title over Solana Sierra. She also captured the doubles title with Sara Bejlek, defeating Celine Naef and Nikola Bartunkova.

As we enter pride month, how about a round of applause for Daria Kasatkina, who finally broke through to make a Grand Slam semifinal?

Another round for Martina Trevisan, who used her Rabat momentum the week prior to do one round better than her 2020 surprise quarterfinal.

Honestly, it’s fantastic that Amelie Mauresmo is the Tournament Director at Roland Garros. More representation at the helm is needed in tennis. However, her comments about women’s tennis being “less appealing” than the men for the lone night session match was utterly appalling. Sure, she did scale back and say that more work needs to be done to ensure equality in the session, but the story lit up her debut year, on top of press having restricted access compared to years’ past:

Kudos to Zheng Qinwen, who not only was the one to get a set off of Iga Swiatek, but for being upfront about one of the most obvious struggles female athletes face but never talk about — their period.

Speaking of joys of being a female athlete, can we stop asking sexist questions to the players? I don’t think it’s that hard.

It was nice to see legendary bad ass Billie Jean King receive a ceremony for her work on and off the court, while commemorating the 50th anniversary of her French Open victory.

I may be biased because she’s a Five at The IX alum, but here’s two examples of why Sloane Stephens is the best player in the press room:

As we move onto links, I’ll just leave this last tweet here with Iga Swiatek reacting to Polish soccer star Robert Lewandowski watching her win the final:



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This Week in Women’s Tennis

After qualifying for her first Grand Slam and narrowly losing to eventual quarterfinalist Sloane Stephens, Jule Niemeier captured the biggest title of her career at the WTA 125 Makarsa Open. The German downed Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who was entering the final on a 9-match winning streak. The doubles title went to Dalila Jakupovic and Tena Lukas, who defeated Olga Danilovic and Aleksandra Krunic.

The USTA’s National Campus was created to funnel a future of Grand Slam champions and Coco Gauff’s Roland Garros is the latest example of that paying off.

Danielle Collins has a college degree to fall back on, but she was clueless when it came to finances as a professional tennis player. Now, she opens up about the importance of financial literacy.

Expect Sam Stosur to fully say goodbye to tennis this year or perhaps during the Australian season next year. After she’s done, don’t be surprised to see her involved with the rising generation of Aussies.

In news I can completely get behind, friend of The IX Kristie Ahn may have recently retired, but the Stanford grad is staying involved in a different way:

In entry news, Emma Raducanu was the first player announced for the Citi Open, while Venus and Serena Williams aren’t on the list for Wimbledon.

Iga Swiatek widens her margin at No. 1 while Anett Kontaveit, who split with coach Dmitry Tursunov, reached No. 2 and Jessica Pegula cracks the Top 10 in the latest WTA ranking update.

NCAA champion Peyton Stearns is turning professional after two years at the University of Texas. She won team titles in 2021 and 2022 and also won the singles title this year.

Speaking of college tennis, the 2022 ITA Division I All-Americans and Regional Award winners were announced over the weekend. Stay tuned for the National winners.

Kamau Murray talks to Nick Saviano in the latest tennis.com podcast, discussing his career as a coach and how much perspective is key in his role and beyond.

Emma Raducanu is currently coachless, which has been criticized by some. However, the reigning US Open champ is trusting her gut when it comes to that process.

Last week’s Universal Tennis Pro Tennis Tour results:

  • $25,000 Boca Raton, Florida:
    • 1st place playoff: Melodie Collard def. Yexin Ma, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1
    • 2nd place playoff: Annabelle Davis def. Katie Rolls, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-2
    • 3rd place playoff: Eleonore Tchakarova def. Allison Isaacs, 7-6(3), 7-5
  • $25,000 Zadar, Croatia:
    • 1st place playoff: Julia Avdeeva def. Ioana Gaspar, 6-3, 6-2
    • 2nd place playoff: Sashi Kempster def. Shanelle Iaconi, 6-3, 0-6, 6-3
    • 3rd place playoff: Nikol Palecek def. Polina Gubina, walkover
    • 4th place playoff: Camelia Elena Hristea def. Chiara Jerolimov, 7-5, 6-2
    • 5th place playoff: Helene Sommer def. Nera Tesankic, 6-1, 6-1

Last week’s ITF World Tour results:

  • $100,000 Surbiton, Great Britain:
    • (2) Alison Van Uytvanck def. Arina Rodionova, 7-6(3), 6-2
    • (3) Ingrid Neel/Rosalie Van der Hoek def. (2) Fernanda Contreras Gomez/Catherine Harrison, 6-3, 6-3
  • $60,000 Brasov, Romania:
    • Jaimee Fourlis def. (5) Ipek Oz, 7-6(0), 6-2
    • (2) Jesika Maleckova/Isabella Shinikova def. (4) Veronika Erjavec/Weronika Falkowska, 7-6(5), 6-3
  • $60,000 Brescia, Italy:
    • (Q) Angela Fita Boluda def. (5) Despina Papamichail, 6-2, 6-0
    • Nuria Brancaccio/Lisa Pigato def. Zhubek Kulambayeva/Diana Marcinkevica, 6-4, 6-1
  • $25,000 Tbilisi, Georgia:
    • (1) Anastasia Zakharova def. (JE) Kristina Dmitruk, 6-4, 6-0
    • (1) Angelina Gabueva/Anastasia Zakharova def. (4) Darya Astakova/Anna Kubareva, 6-1, 6-2
  • $25,000 Changwon, South Korea:
    • (2) Kurumi Nara def. (1) Na-Lae Han, 6-3, 6-1
    • (1) Ji-Hee Choi/Na-Lae Han def. (2) Ya-Hsuan Lee/Fang-Hsien Wu, 6-3, 4-6, [15-13]
  • $25,000 Annenheim, Austria:
    • Laura Siegemund def. Lena Papadakis, 6-3, 6-2
    • Jessie Aney/Lena Papadaki def. Martha Matoula/Arina Gabriela Vasilescu, 1-6, 6-3, [11-9]
  • $25,000 Chiang Rai, Thailand:
    • (Q) Xinyu Gao def. (2) Peangtarn Plipuech, 6-3, 6-3
    • (4) Momoko Kobori/Luksika Kumkhum def. (3) Misaki Matsuda/Naho Sato, 6-3, 6-3
  • $15,000 Monastir, Tunisia:
    • (1) Alice Tubelio def. Honoka Kobayashi, 6-3, 7-6(4)
    • Kristina Paskauskas/Sijia Wei def. (3) Ashmitha Easwaramurthi/Mei Hasegawa, 6-1, 6-2
  • $15,000 Heraklion, Greece:
    • (6) Kajsa Rinaldo Persson def. (JR) Irina Balus, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
    • (2) Eleni Christofi/Gabriella Da Silva Fick def. Mariia Bergen/Beatris Spasova, 6-0, 6-1
  • $15,000 Rancho Santa Fe, California:
    • (2) Talia GIbson def. (4) Maria Kozyreva, 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-6(5)
    • Maria Kozyreva/Veronica Miroshnichenko def. Solymar Colling/Claudia De Las Heras Armenteras, 6-1, 6-3
  • $15,000 Catez Ob Savia, Slovenia:
    • Vivan Wolff def. Anna Hertel, 6-2, 6-7(0), 6-4
    • Yu-Yun Li/Anna Zyryanova def. Bianca Behulova/Katarina Kuzmova, 6-4, 7-5
  • $15,000 Cancun, Mexico:
    • (3) Stacey Fung def. Saki Imamura, 6-3, 6-3
    • Doubles draw never began due to rain

Tweet of the Week

Coco Gauff is a good egg


Five at The IX: Roland Garros Winners

Q. People are going to say, Of course she won, too good. Can’t lose. No way she was going to lose that one. Can you share about the work that is implied to get to 35, to get to that trophy? Because you make it look easy. That’s one of the hardest things to deliver. Can you just explain how hard you have worked to get to this point?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, it is hard. I don’t even know how to describe all of that, but for sure I would say the hardest thing on Grand Slam is not getting too many thoughts in your head during that day off. I felt much more, you know, confident, kind of in the zone when I was playing day by day these two matches.

For sure yesterday’s day off was like the hardest part, because you can’t stop thinking about the match and the opponent you are going to face. You want to keep it cool, but it’s hard.

I would say just having somebody who I can talk to and having that kind of supportive team was really helpful. But also, you know, I couldn’t describe all that work because in tennis it’s like you have to kind of sometimes control every thought that you have in your mind, and it’s hard.

But, yeah, I’m getting better and better at it.

Q. Just for both of you, I know you said this is completely different than 2016 and a different story, different places in your careers, all that. So I guess for each of you, Kiki and Caro, if you could both answer, what does this title mean to you individually? What do you see that it can have in terms of impact on your career, whether it is in doubles or singles going forward?

CAROLINE GARCIA: I think it’s completely different, because, I mean, I can’t speak about Kristina, but for myself I was not really expecting myself to be in the final of doubles.

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Me neither (smiling). We needed actually a wildcard to be here.

CAROLINE GARCIA: Yeah, we didn’t play doubles together since Australian Open.

On my side I was just in time to get ready for Roland Garros. When we saw the draw and we saw like Alexandrova-Siegemund, it’s like, It’s tough first round, it’s not easy. I think we were not expecting it at all.

We just focused one match at a time and see what we could improve every time when we were losing the first set or down and everything.

So it’s definitely a big surprise, because in 2016, we were like in different situation. We were both I think in top 10 in doubles. We were like a big team so people were expecting us. It was not the case this year. I think neither do we.

It’s different feeling, you know, like you take one day at a time, just really focus on the present and really enjoyed it. It’s just, of course it’s a lot of positive energy, positive vibe for the next week in singles, next week in doubles.

In tennis you have to take everything you can, a title in WTA, it’s something very big. In slams, it’s even bigger. You never know when you are going to come back, and you really have to enjoy it and take all the positive you can.

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Yeah. That’s a very nice résumé. But like Caro said, we had some issues, both of us, like with injuries. Yeah, Caro was really last-minute ready. I have been dealing with also an issue for quite some time.

I’m kind of getting again in the groove, in the rhythm. We had tough opponents in singles, you know. We wanted to go further. But once it was done, we kind of regroup and we were like, Okay, we are here together, let’s work our way together through matches, to just improve ourselves, our game through doubles, but it’s going to help for singles.

Like Caro said, it was really unexpected. We both didn’t play much doubles the last couple months, years, so we actually needed a wildcard to get here.

Yeah, we just worked together match by match. Yeah, I’m just very happy. What can I say? You know, a Grand Slam title, it’s very, very unique, and I have been in couple finals already, but you always enjoy it and go, you know, on the court, give your absolute best because that’s such an amazing stage, that you don’t know if you’re going to be there again.

So you’re like trying to soak in all the positive things about it, the energy. Speaking of energy and unique moment, I mean, to win this title again with Caro — I mean, I won another two with Timea, but with Caro, we are both French so today on court it felt like it’s Fed Cup, it’s like France against USA.

From what I remember, the crowd this year today was absolutely amazing. It was even more than in ’16. We were really impressed that the stadium was absolutely kind of full, I have to say. So it’s an amazing moment for us to share. We will keep that in our memory. It’s absolutely amazing.

Q. You both achieved a lot, but where does this rank? It sounds a bit obvious, but it must be pretty special.

ENA SHIBAHARA: Yes, it’s very special. Yeah, I mean, well, like I said on court, I grew up with a family of five, and so I was kind of, and we all kind of played tennis together, and they would played doubles, and I’m the youngest, so I’m always trying to fight for the spot to be the fourth player.

So they would always play mixed doubles and that is basically how I started my tennis. So it was very special for me to win this title in mixed doubles.

Q. Obviously you are a junior Grand Slam finalist now — sorry, junior Grand Slam champion now. You know, that puts you in a list of very many players who have gone on to achieve amazing things in the game. Does that make this even more special for you, knowing that you are now a part of Roland Garros history?

LUCIE HAVLICKOVA: Yeah, well, it’s amazing to be part of the history, but still, it’s just the beginning of something. Hoping to be bigger.

Yeah, it’s really good to be in the history, but hopefully it’s gonna be better some day, better history, like maybe WTA champion or something (smiling).

Q. Having won the five titles here together now, have you allowed yourself to think forward to Paris 2024 and what it could be like to win a medal here in two years’ time?

DIEDE DE GROOT: I think, like, I don’t know if that’s the same for Aniek but because there are so many Grand Slams between now and Paris, I don’t really have Paris in my head yet. I don’t know if that’s a little bit different for you…

ANIEK VAN KOOT: I’m still recovering from Tokyo.

DIEDE DE GROOT: Yeah, that’s what it feels like a little bit. Yeah, we are not really thinking about that at the moment. I think we are just really still trying to get through every match, and I think Wimbledon will be the first one that we are also going to have to put our focus on, because last year I think we didn’t really adjust to grass tennis.

So that’s what we are going to do now, and I think that’s just what we are going to focus on, one tournament at a time.

ANIEK VAN KOOT: Yeah.


Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: Anne Tokarski, @annetokarski, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer

Written by Joey Dillon