“I feel old, very old,” joked Halep ahead of facing the fearless 17-year-old American. “I was not on Chatrier at 17, I was in qualifiers here. To play against someone 10 years younger than me, that's not easy. They're young, they have nothing to lose, so every match is tough.
“I think our generation, it was a little bit more shy. Now, this generation has more courage, they fight with any other player in the top. So they don't have thoughts about that they are under them. So I appreciate them, it's good for tennis, because they see that the young players are in the top fast. But also, I take my advantage, and I say that I'm experienced. So we will see."
Prior to the Court Philippe-Chatrier clash Swiatek, who still attends school, told reporters it was a “dream” to duel with Halep. The Polish teenager surged into the second week on debut at Roland-Garros with victories over the likes of No.16 seed Qiang Wang and Olympic champion Monica Puig.
However, the reigning champion was a totally different proposition.