Poland’s Iga Swiatek wins French Open women’s tennis final

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Iga Swiatek claimed her second French Open title by dominating teenager Coco Gauff in the final on Saturday as the world number one picked up her 35th straight win.

The 21-year-old Pole won 6-1, 6-3 in just 68 minutes on Philippe Chatrier Court, equaling Venus Williams’ record for the longest winning streak by a woman in the 21st century.

Swiatek celebrated his sixth consecutive title this year in the players’ box with his friends and family.

The Polish player wore a ribbon in the colors of the Ukrainian flag on her cap throughout the tournament. Speaking after his victory, Swiatek said: “I wanted to say something to Ukraine, to keep it strong, because the war is still here.”

An inconsolable Gauff sat in her seat in tears after a nervous performance, punctuated by 23 unforced errors and three double faults.

The 18-year-old American fell short of becoming the youngest Grand Slam singles champion since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004.

Swiatek, only the 10th woman to win multiple French Opens in the Open era, has lost just one set in the tournament – to China’s Zheng Qinwen in the fourth round.

She has now won all three encounters of her career with Gauff, who was playing in her first Grand Final.

Gauff will now turn to Sunday’s doubles final, where she will face local favorites Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic alongside compatriot Jessica Pegula.

Swiatek improved on his remarkable record in the finals, having won his last nine on the WTA Tour.

Gauff looked nervous in the opening rallies and a series of unforced errors allowed Swiatek to take a break in the very first game.

The 18th seed was down 3-0 and a double break after just 16 minutes, as Swiatek’s powerful backhand helped her win a long third game on her fifth break point.

Gauff finally got on the board with a rambling hold to the delight of the crowd, but she was down a set for the first time in the tournament minutes later.

Swiatek wasn’t playing at her best, but a downfield backhand winner brought two set points and she took the second chance when Gauff fired wide.

The Pole offered her opponent a potential comeback in the match, making four unforced errors to dismiss her serve in the first game of the second set.

Swiatek, however, recomposed as errors continued to come from Gauff, coming level at 2-2.

She has gone five straight to move into one of the titles, dropping just five points in the process.

Gauff dug deep to force Swiatek to serve for the trophy.

But the top seed did just that on his first match point, falling to red clay in celebration as Gauff sent a flying return long.

(AFP)


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