World number one Iga Swiatek started her French Open title defense with a comfortable win over Spain’s Cristina Bucsa. Swiatek, who is aiming to win her third French Open title in four years, had a slow start on the windy Philippe Chatrier court. She was broken twice in her first three service games as Bucsa, ranked 70th in the world, mixed up her game and initially threw Swiatek off balance. However, the Polish player recovered well, breaking back to seal the first set before winning the second set 6-0.
Swiatek, who is also a triple Grand Slam winner, made amends for her slow start with a dominant second set. She had beaten Bucsa in under an hour at this year’s Australian Open, losing just one game. However, Swiatek had a less than perfect run-up to Paris, retiring from her Italian Open quarter-final after suffering a thigh injury two weeks ago.
Despite the injury concerns, Swiatek was pleased with her performance and her ability to cope with the pressure. “Of course I feel pressure, we all feel pressure,” she said. “If I said I don’t, I would be lying. I try to work with it and play my game. The most important thing in tennis right now is to cope with it.”
Swiatek turned 22 on Wednesday and will be hoping to celebrate her birthday with another win in the second round. She is also looking to protect her top spot from world number two Aryna Sabalenka.
Swiatek’s performance was a solid start to her French Open campaign. While she will need to improve on her slow start, she showed her ability to recover and dominate her opponent. With her injury concerns behind her, Swiatek will be looking to build momentum as she aims to win another Grand Slam title.