Naomi Osaka dismisses Iga Swiatek complaint after French Open thriller

Osaka didn't agree with one complaint Swiatek made following their French Open match.

by Dzevad Mesic
Naomi Osaka dismisses Iga Swiatek complaint after French Open thriller
© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Naomi Osaka didn't necessarily agree with Iga Swiatek that the crowd was doing too much and going over the line during their French Open match. 

On Wednesday, two four-time Grand Slam champions delivered an epic battle, in which former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka fell just short. Swiatek, the defending French Open champion, was on the verge of losing the match but saved a match point in the third set and recovered from a 2-5 deficit before sealing a 7-6 (1) 1-6 7-5 win in three hours of play. 

Since it was a highly entertaining match between two very attractive names, the crowd was naturally engaged throughout the entire match. But after the match, Swiatek felt that the crowd was being disruptive at times and politely requested them to be more silent and calmer next time. 

"I have huge respect for you guys and I know we are playing for you, but sometimes under a lot of pressure when you scream something during the rally, it’s really hard to be focused," Swiatek told the crowd after the match.

"I usually don’t bring this up because I want to be a player that’s in the zone and focused. But this is serious for us. We’re fighting our whole lives to be better and better. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that. The stakes are big. There’s a lot of money to win. Losing a few points may change a lot

"Please, guys, if you can support us between the rallies but not during, that would be great. I hope you’re still gonna like me because I know the French crowd might get some players they don’t like and boo. But I love you guys and always love playing here, so let’s continue that."

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Osaka responds to Swiatek's claims

For Osaka, playing world No. 1 Swiatek on Court Suzanne Lenglen was by far the biggest match she has played since starting her post-pregnancy comeback at the start of the year. And the 26-year-old Osaka definitely seemed to enjoy the match and atmosphere during the entire encounter. 

When asked about Swiatek's complaints about the crowd, two-time US Open champion Osaka said the atmosphere kind of resembled the one at Flushing Meadows. Then, Osaka noted that she personally didn't have any issues with the French Open crowd or their actions. 

“I thought the crowd was really cool. These are the moments for what I work for. I didn’t have a problem with the crowd at all. But I’m used to the New York crowd,” Osaka said.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

What Osaka said about her confidence and belief after the Swiatek match?

Against Swiatek, Osaka recovered from an early break down before also opening a 5-4 lead. Then with Swiatek serving to stay in the first set, Osaka didn't convert a set point as the opener went into a tie-break, where the Pole went 4-0 up before realizing her first set point. 

Down by a set, Osaka quickly erased that as she broke Swiatek three times in the second set to pretty easily force a decider.

At the start of the third set, Osaka continued with her strong game and got off to a 3-0 lead before ultimately going 5-2 up. In the eighth game, Swiatek was facing 0/30 in her service game but managed to survive and reduce the deficit to 3-5. Then in the next game, Osaka missed out on a match point on her serve as Swiatek went on to complete a comeback after winning five consecutive games from 2-5 down in the third set.

For Osaka, now ranked at No. 134 in the world, her performance against Swiatek was a proof that she still had the game to compete against the very best. 

"You know, I have my little book, right? So in it today I just wrote, 'I'm proud of you,' and I think for me, saying that to myself gives me a lot of power because normally, not normally, but sometimes I curse myself out in my head, and it's quite a negative feeling. I would just say I'm proud of the journey, and I'm hoping, hopefully it'll get more and more positive," Osaka said.

"I told people I was a little delusional when I was coming back. But I think for me, I kind of see my game as being good against anybody. I also was raised with not having any fear. I think going into a match fearing someone is kind of pointless."

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Meanwhile, Osaka will now turn her focus to the grass season, which she plans to kick off in 's-Hertogenbosch, which starts on June 10th. When Osaka kicks off her 's-Hertogenbosch campaign, she will be making her debut at the tournament.

Naomi Osaka Iga Swiatek French Open