"It's good for women's tennis" - Gauff on the thrilling Roland Garros encounter between Swiatek and Osaka

Saturday, 01 June 2024 at 03:00
The spectacular second round showdown between Iga Swiatek and Naomi Osaka at the 2024 Roland Garros event is already considered one of the matches of the tournament. American tennis star Coco Gauff expressed her joy at seeing both ladies competing at such a high level, given Osaka's recent return to the WTA tour.
The Japanese superstar took some time off to give birth to her daughter Shai in July 2023. Osaka returned at the start of the 2024 season, and has slowly worked her way back into form. However, the four-time Grand Slam champion saved her best performance of the season for Roland Garros, where she took two-time defending champion Swiatek to three sets.
During a press conference at Roland Garros, Gauff was asked whether she watched the match, which saw Osaka squander a match point before falling to Swiatek in a close three-set encounter.
"I didn't get to see it because I was playing at the same time," replied Gauff. "I did watch a little bit of the first set because that was before my match, but it was very early. It was still good points, but I'm sure nowhere near towards the end of the match.
"They're both tough players to play. Especially Iga on clay is a very difficult - on any surface, but especially clay very difficult to play. Naomi, I've played her -- I think I've only played her exclusively on hard, I believe. I would say that's her best surface. I've played her --defending champion when she was defending Australian Open. I played both of them at strong points in their career.
"I think it's very cool to see, especially for Naomi, coming back. I know clay was somewhere -- maybe not anymore at the end of this tournament, but it was somewhere in the past that was probably a difficult spot for her.
"I always root for her, and I think also coming back from motherhood and for her to put up a level like that against Iga is great. It's good for women's tennis to see, and good for just women in general to see that you can come back and be at the high level and take the World No. 1 to the brink. Also good on Iga for getting through that match. Naomi is not an easy person to play second round, no matter what form she's in."

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