Last year at the French Open, 2018 champion Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek met in the round of 16. Halep, who was seeded third, defeated the young Polish player 6-1, 6-0. Today, they met again at the French Open, again in the round of 16, and the results were similar--but with a huge twist. Swiatek--in a stunning display of Andresscu-style show-offy tennis--upset top seed Halep 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour.
This wasn't about Halep; she played well. Swiatek was simply on a mission, hitting 30 winners (with 20 unforced errors) and delivering impressive 81/69 first and second serve winning percentages. Swiatek looked completely in control throughout the match. She aimed at her targets with maximum spin on the ball, used the lob/drop shot combination, and generally flummoxed her clever, athletic opponent--which isn't that easy to do.
In 2017, Halep lost the final to the upstart of upstarts--Alona Ostapenko, who had celebrated her 20th birthday two days earlier. Last year, she lost in the quarterfinals to 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova. Today, it was an 18-year-old rising star who is currently ranked number 54 in the world. Clearly, the kids are alright--and they like to beat up on Halep.
It was odd to watch this dramatic match and not hear "Si-mo-na!" chanted from the stands. Anyone who has been paying attention would have known that Swiatek wasn't going to go away quickly this time, but I doubt if anyone was expecting the blow-out that was this match.
Meanwhile, 5th seed Kiki Bertens--who has seen plenty of drama during this tournament--also met an unfortunate fate in the form of Italian upstart (and world number 159) Martina Trevisan, who upset her 6-4, 6-4.
3rd seed Elina Svitolina defeated Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-3, and Nadia Podoroska defeated Barbora Krejcikova 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
There was another big upset today: In doubles, 14th seeds Alexa Guarachi and Disirae Crawczyk defeated top seeds defeated top seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova 6-4, 7-5 in the third round. Meanwhile, 2nd seeds Timea Babos and Kiki Mladenovic advanced to the quarterfinals when they defeated Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig.