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Poland's Iga Swiatek celebrates after winning a point against Alison Riske of the US during their second round of the French Open at Roland Garros on Thursday. Image Credit: AP

Paris: Iga Swiatek demolished American Alison Riske 6-0, 6-2 as she raced into the French Open third round on Thursday with her 30th consecutive victory, extending an awe-inspiring run that she knows might soon come to an end.

The world No 1 wasted no time on court Suzanne Lenglen, showing no mercy as she went close to dishing out the first ‘double bagel’ of this year’s tournament.

The Polish player, hot favourite to claim a second title at Roland Garros in three years, was virtually unchallenged by the world No 43, who could only manage seven points in the opening set.

Riske put up something of a fight in the second, letting out a big scream and raising her hand in celebration when she won her first game to reduce the arrears to 3-1.

Navratilova's all-time record

Swiatek did not ease the pressure and wrapped it up in just over an hour when Riske’s backhand sailed long.

She is on the longest winning run since Serena Williams bagged 34 consecutive victories in 2013 — still a far cry, however, from Martina Navratilova’s all-time record of 74 from 1984.

Swiatek has also now won 44 of the last 45 sets she has played and is undefeated since losing to former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in Dubai in February, having won a set 6-0 on 15 occasions this year.

“I’m pretty happy. Happy to play solid tennis. It’s my first singles match on Lenglen and it was a pleasure,” Swiatek said.

“Just being focused and to put pressure on my opponent so I have the initiative at the start of the rallies. I’m getting better and better at it but I’m still not an expert.”

Next up for Swiatek is Danka Kovinic of Montenegro with the draw looking increasingly favourable for the Pole following early eliminations for holder Barbora Krejcikova, Tunisian sixth seed Ons Jabeur and Greek world No 3 Maria Sakkari.

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Romania's Simona Halep waves the crowd as she leaves after her loss to Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen. Image Credit: Reuters

Former world No 1 Simona Halep crashed out in the second round as she failed to find a way past the aggressive game of Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen and fell to a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 loss.

Halep, who lifted the trophy at Roland Garros in 2018 before winning Wimbledon the following year, came into the contest on Court Simonne Mathieu having won her only prior meeting against the 19-year-old Zheng in straight sets in Melbourne in January.

The 30-year-old Romanian got off to a flying start by dominating play from the baseline, breezing through the opening set and going up a break before Zheng, ranked 74th in the world took control.

Winners started flowing from the Chinese player’s racket as the unforced errors count started soaring for Halep and Zheng did not look back from there on.

Zheng, who hit 28 winners to her opponent’s nine, won eight games in a row to go up 3-0 in the deciding third set and Halep won just one more game in the match.

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China's Qinwen Zheng hits a double-fisted backhand return to Simona Halep at Roland Garros. Image Credit: Reuters

“I have been working really hard, and it was really nice, that was my best performance. I am happy today,” Zheng said in an interview on court.

The Romanian also seemed to struggle with her breathing during the third set and had her pulse and blood pressure checked on court.

Day of upsets

On another day of upsets for the seeded players in the women’s draw, American Shelby Rogers sent compatriot and Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins packing with the ninth seed losing 6-4, 6-3.

Local wildcard Leolia Jeanjean earlier swept away former world number one and eighth seed Karolina Pliskova in straight sets.

As Daniil Medvedev eased into the French Open third round on Thursday, the carefree world No 2 admitted not much scared him in life — except for spiders, and tarantulas in particular.

Medvedev, who made the quarter-finals in 2021, defeated Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, and goes on to face another Serb in Miomir Kecmanovic, the 28th seed, for a place in the last 16.

Having lost in the opening round on his first four trips to Roland Garros, Medvedev is increasingly learning to appreciate the clay-court Grand Slam — and even his phobia of spiders is abating, somewhat.

Daniil Medvedev defeated Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Image Credit: AP

“I’m a little bit scared of spiders, but I need to say I was much more scared when I was 10 or 12,” he said.

“When you grow up you need to sometimes face your fears. I never saw a tarantula, so I think I’m going to be scared if I see one.”

Six-time Grand Slam champion Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka rallied to win the opening round of the women’s doubles event.

Bopanna-Middelkoop in quarter-finals

Saina and Lucie, seeded 10th, beat the Italian pair of Jasmine Paolini and Martina Trevisan 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in one hour and 58 minutes.

The Indo-Czech pair, who made it to WTA 250 Strasbourg Open final last week, will face the Slovenian pair of Kaja Juvanthe and Tamara Zidansek in the second round.

In the men’s doubles, Rohan Bopanna and his Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop progressed to the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev and Fabrice Martin of France in the second round.

Seeded 16th, Bopanna and Middelkoop will face second seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavis of Croatia for a place in the Roland Garros semi-finals.

Mixed doubles win

However, Ramkumar Ramanathan and his men’s doubles partner Hunter Reese of the USA, lost their second-round match to sixth seeds Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Neal Skupski of Great Britain 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 27 minutes.

Earlier, Sania had also advanced to the second round of the mixed doubles with Ivan Dodig. However, they are expected to face an uphill task in the next round against Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia and Bruno Soares, who beat top seeds Nicolas Mahut of France and Shuai Zhang of China, to progress.