World No 1 Iga Swiatek survived a tough examination against Jule Niemeier on Monday to reach the second round of the Australian Open. The 2022 French and US Open champion was far from the fluent best that took her to a 37-match win streak last season, needing an hour and 59 minutes to see off the dogged German 6-4, 7-5 on Rod Laver Arena.
“Honestly, I wanted to be focused on myself because I know that Jule serves amazing and was really pushing, putting pressure on me,” said Swiatek, who landed only 49 per cent of her first serves. “So I’m pretty happy that I got through this match because the first round is always tricky, and I guess an opponent like Jule makes it even more tricky.”
The win took her win-loss record in first-round Grand Slam matches to 15-1 a year after recording her best result at Melbourne Park, eventually losing to Danielle Collins after a run to the semifinal. The three-time major winner will face Colombia’s Camila Osorio in the second round.