Iga express rolls past Potapova

The three-time champion sails into the quarter-finals

Iga Swiatek, huitièmes de finale, Roland-Garros 2024©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
 - Chris Oddo

Iga Swiatek braved a two hour and 57-minute cliffhanger with Naomi Osaka in the second round, saving a match point to defeat the four-time Grand Slam champion in an instant classic, 7-6(1), 1-6, 7-5. It was a beautiful victory, the latest chapter of Swiatek’s growing legend on the terre battue of Paris. It was also an emotional experience that left her crying in the locker room after she left the court.

Since that stunning triumph, the Pole has elected to avoid the drama and take the fast track to victory. 

Swiatek took the latest step on Sunday, blasting past a stunned Anastasia Potapova, 6-0, 6-0 on Court Philippe-Chatrier to book her 18th consecutive win on the Parisian clay. It was a vintage performance from the Pole, who improves to 18-1 on clay in 2024, and 40-4 overall for the season.

Ruthless and efficient 

Potapova was riding high after reaching the round of 16 at a major for the first time in her career, but her momentum was quickly derailed by Swiatek, who went on the attack from the first ball and never let up, smothering the world No.41, winning 48 of 58 points to complete the victory in 40 blink-and-you-missed-it minutes. 

It is the Pole’s second 6-0, 6-0 victory in as many years in Paris, and she has now won a total of 13 6-0 sets in her 34 career Roland-Garros matches. 

All in a day’s work for the world No.1. 

Iga Swiatek, fourth round, Roland-Garros 2024©️Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

“It felt the same,” Swiatek said on court after the match. “I was just really focused and really in the zone – I wasn’t really looking at the score so I just continued playing my game and working on the stuff that I wanted to work on.” 

The 40-minute duration represents the quickest match in Swiatek's career. According to the WTA, Swiatek is just the third player to rack up 6-0, 6-0 victories in consecutive years in Roland-Garros history, joining Gabriela Sabatini (1992-93) and Mary Pierce (1993-94). 

Swiatek defeated China's Wang Xinyu 6-0, 6-0 in the third round in Paris in 2023.

“It went pretty quickly, pretty weird,” Swiatek said. 

Stat check: total domination 

Swiatek won 24 of 27 points on serve, and won all but seven points on return (24/31). 

The 23-year-old hit 13 winners against just two unforced errors, while Potapova hit five winners against 19 unforced errors. 

The top-ranked Pole improves to 32-2 lifetime at Roland-Garros and 81-10 on clay, and now moves on to face 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondrousova in the quarter-finals.

According to the WTA, Swiatek is the fourth-youngest WTA player in the Open era to make the last 16 in her first six appearances at Roland-Garros – older only than Gabriela Sabatini (1985-90), Iva Majoli (1993-98) and Conchita Martinez (1988-93).

Here at Roland-Garros, Swiatek is bidding to become the first woman to complete a successful women's singles three-peat since Justine Henin won her third consecutive title in 2007, and the first woman to complete a rare Madrid-Rome-Roland-Garros triple in the same season since Serena Williams in 2013.

It was a difficult day for Potapova, a former junior rival of Swiatek's who snapped a 0-3 record in Grand Slam third-round matches by defeating China's Wang Xinyu, 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-4. The 23-year-old former world No.21 had nowhere to hide as the Swiatek express raced off with yet another iconic victory.

Mere mortals can only wonder what it feels like to play with such command. Swiatek herself tried her best to explain how it felt to spend 40 minutes in the zone on Sunday in Paris.

"Comfortable," she said. "You just go with it because there's no point of changing anything. You just continue what you've been doing and what has been working.

"Honestly, I was always focusing on the next point. I didn't really look at what happened before. So that was probably also why I could be efficient."