Day 10 diary: Iga has a new fan/practice partner in Sir Andy

 - Alex Sharp

Let’s take a dive into what has happened on and off the terre battue on Tuesday

Iga Swiatek, Roland-Garros 2021, fourth round© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

It feels like Roland-Garros 2021 is on the home straight, but we keep being served up more magic moments.

Career-defining matches are keeping fans in Paris and across the globe absorbed in the action. Let’s take a look at what you might have missed on Day 10.

Major approval for Swiatek

She’s the defending champion, into the singles quarter-finals, multi-tasking with a doubles semi-final and is now booking in grass-court practice.

Iga Swiatek is causing a storm on social media with her ruthless performances, which have caught the attention of a couple of former Grand Slam champions.

“Love watching Iga Swiatek,” tweeted three-time major winner Andy Murray on Monday night as the Pole nullified the threat of Marta Kostyuk in straight sets.

Swiatek took to Twitter to respond; “Thank you Sir Andy! Are you by any chance up for a practice? I really need to improve my skills on grass.” Murray, finalist at Roland-Garros in 2016, was wary of hitting with a 20-year-old player in such devastating form.

“Anytime,” replied Murray on Twitter. “Just promise to go easy on me as I’m a bit old and fragile now!”

Former world No.1 and 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick chimed in, “Agreed. She is awesome,” tweeted the American.

Well, in stereotypical Swiatek style, the Pole responded with a comical GIF from the American version of The Office. Gotta love it!

Trio reaping reward of talking it through

What do Swiatek, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Tamara Zidansek have in common?

Yes, they’re all into the latter stages of Roland-Garros 2021, but they’re also benefiting from the expertise of regularly working with a sports psychologist.

Swiatek has spoken at length about how it built her mental fortitude, enabling the No.8 seed to lift a maiden major on Court Philippe-Chatrier last October.

Zidansek, following her epic quarter-final triumph over Barbora Badosa, opened up in her press conference about her deep thinking. 

“Here with me, well, it's just my coach, my psychologist. That was the starting team that came,” said the world No.85, who broke through to reach a first Grand Slam semi-final. “I have always been super interested in what people think, how does it work.

“He's helped me a lot. Once you get to this stage, it's all about mental game. It's about believing that you can go out there. It's not like you can hit the ball harder or, that you can run faster. Okay, maybe you can improve a little bit in that, but it's about believing.

“Yeah, just self-confidence, trying to compose yourself in the tough situations and just keep fighting. That takes a lot of mental preparation and a lot of energy.”

Doubles duels edge towards finale

Swiatek and Bethanie Mattek-Sands booked their spot in the semi-finals courtesy of a 6-3, 6-2 passage past Darija Jurak and Andreja Klepac.

In the other half of the draw, 2018 champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the all-Czech clash with the Pliskova sisters 6-4, 6-4 to move into the final four.

'New breed has arrived'

35 years on from her 18th and final Grand Slam singles title at Roland-Garros, Chris Evert is still glued to her screen over in America.

The seven-time champion in Paris is enjoying the current crop taking centre stage.

Angles all the way

This was a massive win for No.2 seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah

The Colombian duo edged past Horia Tecau and Kevin Krawietz 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-5 with shots like this:

Cabal and Farah advance to tackle the home hopes Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the semi-finals.

The French pair have a deep connection having completed the career Grand Slam of men’s doubles together. It was evident in their press conference with Herbert’s gaze towards his on-court partner.

Under pressure, just ‘Meow’

After her scintillating quarter-final victory, Pavlyuchenkova picked up the pen to write on the camera lens. This is what came into the world No.32’s head…  

“So I wrote 'Meow,' because that's how I talk. I use it a lot in my conversations. It's like a playful way. I'm, like, ‘Meow,’ see you later," quipped the 29-year-old.

“Come on, be a little bit open-minded, guys. I just sometimes don't know what to even write on the camera. So I just came up with ‘Meow’.”

What will the Russian conjure up if she books a first ever Grand Slam final spot?