BRAVO! Iga Swiatek and Mattek-Sands Save Seven Match Points to Reserve Their Pre-Quarterfinal Berth at French Open 2021

Published 06/06/2021, 12:32 PM EDT
Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Poland’s Iga Swiatek reacts during her final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


Iga Swiatek and Bethanie Mattek-Sands staged an unbelievable comeback to cruise into the last-16 of the doubles’ draw at the 2021 French Open. The duo ousted the top-seeded doubles team of Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-Wei in a nerve-wracking three-set encounter in the third round.

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Despite being seven match points down, Swiatek, the singles defending champion, and her partner overcome the 1-5 deficit in the deciding set to claim victory.

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Against all odds, the No.16 seeded doubles team won six successive games to stay alive, in what turned out to be one the most entertaining doubles matches of this year’s French Open.

Iga Swiatek and Bethanie Mattek-Sands script marathon victory

After winning the second set, the team of Swiatek and Mattek-Sands began the third set on a disastrous note, losing their opening two service games to go 0-3 down.

Merten and Su-Wei kept on the pressure and raced to an unassailable 5-1 lead. However, that’s when the match turned into a slugfest as the nail-biting rallies in the seventh and the eighth game of the third set resulted in multiple deuces.

Swiatek and Mattek-Sands faced five match points during those two intense games; however, their unshakable grit helped them ward off the threat each time.

The survival threat to Swiatek and Mattek-Sands’ campaign continued as they faced a match point each during the next two successive games. But the duo turned the tide on each instance and eventually leveled the match at 5-5 in the decider.

When they finally triumphed after a marathon effort of three hours and 11 minutes, the duo jumped in jubilation and embraced each other to celebrate their incredible heroics.

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Swiatek continues her winning streak in singles

The Polish tennis star has also reached the fourth round in the singles draw at the French Open. The defending champion is in imperious form, having won her first three rounds in straight sets.

Up next, Swiatek would face the Ukrainian, Marta Kostyuk, for a place in the quarterfinals. If the 20-year-old lifts the trophy in a week’s time, she would become the first player since Justine Henin in 2006 to defend her French Open title successfully.

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Kshitij Tayal

396 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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