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English Section

Tennis: Poland’s Świątek shines in Olympic opener

24.07.2021 11:30
Poland's first racket Iga Świątek swept into the second round of the Olympics tennis tournament on Saturday.
Iga Świątek during her Olympic opener in Tokyos sweltering heat, July 24, 2021.
Iga Świątek during her Olympic opener in Tokyo’s sweltering heat, July 24, 2021. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

Sixth-seed Świątek, needed just over an hour to brush aside 172nd-ranked Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-2 in hot Tokyo sunshine.

Sweltering conditions on the opening day of tennis with temperatures hovering around 33 degrees Celsius (91.4°F) took a toll on the players who were trying to keep themselves cool with ice bags, air tubes and wet towels.  

Notwithstanding, the Polish champion managed to stay calm and composed to beat Barthel, formerly ranked among the world's top 25.  Świątek, whose father Tomasz competed for Poland in rowing at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, is now set for a second round bout against 23-year-old Spaniard Paula Badosa, ranked 29th by the WTA, who reached this year’s French Open quarter-finals

"I'm pretty happy that I'm into the second round. Not only was the humidity and temperature hard, but also the sun because on one side it was pretty hard to serve," Świątek said as quoted by the Reuters news agency.

The nearly 20,000-seat venue was almost empty, with fans barred from all but a handful of Olympic sites in Tokyo because of strict Covid-19 rules.

The rising Polish tennis star, who turned  20 on May 31, last month won the women's singles at the Italian Open clay-court tournament in Rome.

In October, she won the 2020 French Open, claiming her maiden Grand Slam title and becoming the first Pole to lift a Grand Slam singles trophy.

(mo)

Source: PAP, Reuters