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Tennis: Swiatek survives scare against 'amazing' Zheng at French Open

Iga Swiatek in action during her fourth round match against Zheng Qinwen, on May 30, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - World number one Iga Swiatek survived a scare at the hands of injured Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen on Monday (May 30), dropping the first set in their French Open last-16 clash before going on to make the quarter-finals with a 32nd successive win.

Swiatek prevailed 6-7 (5/7), 6-0, 6-2 to equal the third best winning streak this century set by Justine Henin 14 years ago.

"She played amazing tennis," said Swiatek after reaching the quarter-finals for a third successive year. "I was surprised with some of her shots, her top spin was amazing. Huge congrats to her. I am happy to come back after a frustrating first set when I had the lead.

"I am proud to be still in the tournament."

In an 82-minute opening set, 74th-ranked Zheng saved five set points, had two of her own and then clawed her way back from 2/5 down in the tiebreak to stun the top seed.

As the 2020 Roland Garros champion's streak looked in peril, Zheng required a medical timeout at 0-3 in the second set for a leg injury.

Zheng, who had defeated 2018 champion Simona Halep on her way to the fourth round, returned with her right thigh heavily strapped and quickly dropped the second set.

Swiatek carved out a double break in the decider against her tiring opponent, whose injury contributed to her 46 unforced errors, and will face US 11th seed Jessica Pegula for a place in the semi-finals.