French Open: Iga Swiatek makes ruthless start, sets up Naomi Osaka showdown

Swiatek wins her opening match and sets up a second-round blockbuster versus Osaka.

by Dzevad Mesic
French Open: Iga Swiatek makes ruthless start, sets up Naomi Osaka showdown
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason

Iga Swiatek routinely handled the business in her French Open first-round match to set up a showdown with Naomi Osaka, while three-time Grand Slam finalist Ons Jabeur and 2023 Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova also made a winning start to their campaigns at Roland Garros on Monday. 

Swiatek, the No. 1 seed and the defending champion, expectedly routinely got the job done against French qualifier Leolian Jeanjean 6-1 6-2. Although world No. 148 Jeanjean put up some fight in the second set and contested Swiatek much better than in the first set, the four-time Grand Slam champion still didn't have much issues sealing a straight-set win. 

Now, everything is set for a major blockbuster between two multiple Slam champions, Swiatek and Osaka. For Swiatek and Osaka, this will be their third meeting and their first meeting since the Pole beat the Japanese former world No. 1 in the 2022 Miami final. Going into the match, the head-to-head between them stands at 1-1 as Osaka defeated Swiatek in their first meeting in 2019 Toronto. 

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason

Meanwhile, No. 8 seed Jabeur ousted world No. 124 Vickery 6-3 6-2 while fifth-seeded Vondrousova saw off 94th-ranked Rebeka Masarova 6-1 6-3. 

How Swiatek dismantled Jeanjean?

In the opening game of her French Open title defense, Swiatek broke Jeanjean to start the match in the best possible way. In the third game, Jeanjean managed to hold to her serve and get on the board, but the remainder of the set was absolute Swiatek dominance as the Pole finished the set with back-to-back breaks to routinely seal the opener.

After losing the last four games of the first set, Jeanjean got her first break points in the opening game of the second set and the Frenchwoman realized them to start the second set with an early break. In the second game, Jeanjean had 30/0 on her serve and later a game point at 40/30 - but failed to materialize as Swiatek managed to get the break back in that game. 

After dropping an early break, Jeanjean managed to hold to her serve in the fourth game but Swiatek earned her fifth break of the match in the sixth game to go 4-2 up in the second set. That was the start of the end for Jeanjean as Swiatek served out the ninth game for a 5-2 lead before breaking Jeanjean again in the eighth game to put an end to the match. 

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason

How Jabeur made it past Vickery?

Right from the start of the match, eighth-seeded Jabeur came out determined to impose her rhythm and she managed to do so and claim an early break en route to opening a 3-0 lead. Down by an early break, Vickery managed to regroup and get the break back in the fifth game. 

However, blowing an early break had zero impact on Jabeur, who continued to play her game and clinch another break in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead. With Vickery serving to stay in the first set, Jabeur had four set points but didn't convert. But once again, Jabeur's focus remained intact as the Tunisian routinely served out for the opener in the ninth game. 

After winning the first set, Jabeur started the second set with back-to-back breaks and a comfortable 4-0 lead. Leading by a set and 5-1 in the second set, Jabeur had a match point on Vickery's serve but the American managed to save it and survive for another game. Jabeur may have failed to close out the match in the seventh game but made no mistake when serving for the match in the eighth game as the Tunisian converted her second match point to seal a routine two-set win.

In her next match, Jabeur will play against the winner of the match between Anhelina Kalinina and Camila Osorio.

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur© Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason

How Vondrousova ousted Masarova?

No. 5 seed Vondrousova came out firing from all cylinders as the reigning Wimbledon champion started the match with back-to-back breaks and a dominant 5-0 lead. In the sixth game, Vondrousova had a set point to bagel Masarova but the Spaniard managed to save the set point - finally get on the board - and avoid a bagel. 

After avoiding a bagel, Masarova also earned her first break points of the match - but Vondrousova saved those two break point chances before realizing her second set point to seal the opener. 

At the start of the second set, Masarova managed to hold her opening service games without a point lost. But it didn't take long before Vondrousova went on a big run again as the Czech claimed back-to-back breaks in the third and fifth games for a 4-1 lead.

Down by a set and two breaks, Masarova managed to get one break back in the sixth game. Two games later, Masarova even had three break points to completely get back into the second set but Vondrousova managed to survive that game and go 5-3 up. 

Failing to convert on her break point chances in the eighth game left a toll on Masarova as she got broken in the ninth game - the game in which she was serving to stay in the match - without a won point. 

Marketa Vondrousova
Marketa Vondrousova© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Vondrousova plays next against Katie Volynets, who defeated Aleksandra Krunic.

French Open Iga Swiatek Naomi Osaka