Gigi Salmon Column: Iga Swiatek, Emma Raducanu, Naomi Osaka, Andy Murray and running with Laura Robson | Tennis News

Estimated read time 6 min read

Gigi Salmon reviews Iga Swiatek’s stunning victory in Doha and reflects on what Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray had to say as Sky Sports Tennis launched in style…

Sky Sports Tennis’ first week on air was celebrated with a firework display for the ages on Saturday night in Doha, as world No 1 Iga Swiatek scooped up her third falcon in three years.

Swiatek’s numbers in Doha are staggering. She has now won three straight titles, 12 straight matches, 23 straight sets and becomes the first player to win a WTA event three times in a row since Serena Williams won Miami from 2013-2015.

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Highlights of the Qatar Open final between Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina from Doha

We watched the match from our courtside position and what a contest it was, in particular the first set.

The course of the match probably changed in the sixth game when Elena Rybakina, who was leading by a double break and 4-1, quite literally drew first blood as the result of cracking her racquet on her leg on the follow-through off her serve and needed medical attention for a bleeding shin.

Swiatek used the break to chat to her team and from then on the comeback was on.

It’s worth remembering, for all the talk about young players and what they are doing, that Swiatek is still only 22 and has already won four Grand Slam titles.

This was her seventh WTA 1000 title and when it comes to the rankings she’s now over the 10,000 point mark and is 1,400 clear of Australian Open Champion Aryna Sabalenka, who returns to action in Dubai this week.

Special guests in Doha

Gigi Salmon and the Sky Sports Tennis team
The Sky Sports Tennis team enjoyed their week in Doha

What a week it was for the team out in Doha. We launched Sky Sports Tennis with Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka as our very special guests and learned all sorts about the players, including that Leyla Fernandez in her downtime is crocheting a mini Voldermort! She has promised to send us pictures when it’s finished.

We ate way too many desserts in media dining and got such a reputation that when we went in to eat before we had even sat down they would bring Laura (Robson) and I a selection of them to make sure that we didn’t miss out!

It was also the launch week of the Sky Sports Tennis Podcast. A common answer to one of the questions we asked about what made the players cry was watching social media videos of dogs or pandas!

And in answer to who they would like at their dream tennis dinner party, Marat Safin is currently the most in demand!

Each week a different player will answer the same nine questions with the final one being asked by the previous week’s guest, so make sure you subscribe to that, with Hubert Hurkacz’s pod out now.

Gigi Salmon and Andy Murray
Gigi sat down for a chat with former world No 1 Andy Murray

We got the chance to chat to Andy Murray for a few minutes when he was carrying out his media duties ahead of the 250 tournament in Doha this week.

He reached the final last year, winning it back in 2009, and was very honest with how he’s feeling at the moment and how tough it’s been, but reiterated the fact that he just wants to keep playing and that he’s not going to stop.

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Murray tells Gigi he has been going through a difficult period, but insists he wants to keep playing

There are several other Brits in singles action this week on Sky Sports Tennis. Cameron Norrie is the second seed behind Carlos Alcaraz at the ATP 500 event in Rio, while over in Los Cabos both Dan Evans and Jack Draper are in action.

Long-distance running with Laura Robson… briefly

Gigi Salmon and Laura Robson 10k run in Doha
Gigi and Laura Robson ran the 10k in Doha

I can also confirm that Laura and I completed the 10k in Doha in very respectable times.

We ran together for about three seconds before Laura – with my blessing – shot off. It was very windy on the way out, very hot on the way back, and worryingly not long after we finished Laura said she might like to do the half marathon next year!!!

We have another 1000 event this week for the WTA in Dubai and it also brings to an end their Middle Eastern swing of Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai.

There will be no defending champion Barbora Krejcikova due to a back issue that saw her miss Doha too. Then the sad, but not surprising, news is that Ons Jabeur had to withdraw due to ongoing knee issues that have plagued her through what is such an important swing for her.

Gigi Salmon, Laura Robson and Marion Bartoli
Gigi, Laura and Marion Bartoli in position for Sky Sports Tennis

As I write this I have just been handed a Sky Sports Tennis sticker, which unbeknown to my children will be going on their lunchboxes, alongside ones of Leo Messi and various Pokemon – so we’re in good company.

The next stop for the team will be Indian Wells, known as the fifth Slam and the first joint Masters of the year. I’m hoping to avoid any coaching or running challenges while we’re there!!

How to watch play on Sky Sports Tennis

The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day
The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day

Sky Sports has confirmed a new home for tennis in the UK and Ireland, with Sky Sports Tennis on Sky and NOW, making tennis content available all day, every day for fans.

Sky Sports will broadcast more live tennis than anywhere else, bringing over 4,000 matches from more than 80 tournaments a year on the ATP and WTA Tours, as well as full coverage of the US Open, all exclusively live.

Non-Sky subscribers can stream live matches with a NOW Sports Day and Month Membership, via Sky Sports Tennis, Sky Sports Arena, and Sky Sports Mix channels.

For further access, fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports app, on and via Sky Sports social channels.

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Find out all the ways to watch tennis on Sky Sports, including the US Open, ATP and WTA tours

Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp!

You can now start receiving messages and alerts for the latest breaking sports news, analysis, in-depth features and videos from our dedicated WhatsApp channel!

Find out more here

Watch the WTA and ATP Tours throughout 2024 on Sky Sports Tennis. Stream tennis and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership

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