Melichar would spend a lot of time with Swiatek as they reached the semis in Paris. (Clement Mahoudeau/FFT)

As a doubles champion ranked inside of the Top 15, Nicole Melichar can have her pick of partners. Heading into this year's Roland Garros though, she was left scrambling when her New York partner Xu Yifan struggled with visa issues. 

She'd team up with 19-year-old Iga Swiatek just three days before the tournament began, and shared her thoughts on the entire experience on the Podcast.

"I was really trying to find someone who I thought I had the potential of doing well with, so even though maybe some other players had reached out to me, I was still trying to find who I felt would best suit me," Melichar said. "I think I made a very good choice with Iga and, obviously, we had no clue that she was going to win the tournament."

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Melichar and Swiatek would reach the semifinals, while Swiatek went on to win the singles crown just one day later. Unseeded, the Pole didn't drop a set and Melichar was in the stadium to watch her hoist the trophy. 

"Actually, before the tournament we were joking, we were thinking about, we're like, 'Hmm, who's going to win the women's title?'" Melichar said. "As a joke, I was like, 'Oh, Iga Swiątek,'" adding that she thought there would be a first-time winner. 

As for her take on Swiatek, the 27-year-old American had only great things to say. 

"I didn't really know her before, but she is a genuinely kindhearted person, and I like those type of people," Melichar said. "You never want to play with someone that you don't like. So, first of all, that was wonderful."

They meshed well as first-time, last-minute partners, with wins over recent US Open champions Vera Zvonareva and Laura Siegemund, veterans Kveta Peschke and Demi Schuurs and Americans Jessica Pegula and Asia Muhammad.

Melichar called their three-set loss to Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi "a winnable battle," and summed up the entire experience as "bittersweet". 


"She always gave her best effort on the court," Melichar added of Swiatek. "Because of her singles I wanted to maybe teach her a little bit more doubles because, obviously, singles players if you don't practice doubles it's different.

"Her instincts were so good. I felt like it was hard for me to tell her something because she felt the ball so well."

They say the best doubles players can win with anyone and Melichar has proven she's one of the best. Even just this summer, she won World TeamTennis with Coco Vandweghe, reached the final of "Cincy" and the US Open with Xu and won Strasbourg with Schuurs. 

Melichar pointed out that her strategy for picking partners isn't based on ranking since her current spot of No. 11 pretty much guarantees entry into any draw. She focuses instead on who she can mesh with both on and off the court, like she did with young Swiatek.