French Open: Dua Lipa got Swiatek through first setback of Roland Garros run

·2-min read

Iga Swiatek revealed she sang a Dua Lipa song to take her mind off a difficult first set in her French Open victory against Zheng Qinwen.

World number one Swiatek extended her astonishing winning run to 32 matches by beating Zheng in the fourth round at Roland Garros, with only Venus Williams (35) and Serena Williams (34) now having enjoyed longer streaks this century – although the Pole remains a long way short of Martina Navratilova's outrageous all-time record of 74.

But Swiatek was made to work for this victory, dropping a set for the first time in more than a month as Zheng took the opener 7-6 (7-5).

Swiatek ultimately considered this a positive, though, responding with her 16th 6-0 set of the year in the second en route to winning 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 6-2.

"For sure, for me, I'm taking a lot of confidence in my comeback in the second set," she said afterwards. "So I think it's important that I had this kind of match, which is kind of like a cold shower.

"It reminded me how to find these solutions after losing a first set. Yeah, I feel when I'm going to take some positives from it. I think it's going to give me a lot before the next matches."

Yet what were Swiatek's solutions?

"It wasn't easy to find solutions and to find other tactics and to do something differently, because I wasn't sure what I was doing wrong," she explained.

"In the first set, I get many technical [things] that I wanted to change, like staying lower in my legs and sometimes not pushing the ball but swinging it like I was doing, like I would do normally.

"She was playing really fast balls, and it wasn't easy to loosen up, because I felt a little bit tense.

"So, in the second set, I just wanted to focus more and not really talk to the box maybe that much.

"And honestly, I speeded up a little bit my forehand. Maybe that was the solution. But I felt like my mind is a little bit more clear.

"I was sometimes just singing songs, and I realised in the first set, when I was really focusing on that technical stuff, it didn't really work, because I got more and more tense when I couldn't do that and couldn't really prepare to the shot the best way.

"I was singing in my mind, basically. That's not the first time. I'm always singing something, but I changed the song. It was Dua Lipa, so kind of a guilty pleasure."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting