Swiatek beats Gauff in French Open final

Iga Swiatek is only the fifth women’s number one seed to win Roland Garros in the past 25 years
Dates: 22 May-5 June Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Coverage: Live text and radio commentaries of selected matches across BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website and app

Top seed Iga Swiatek underlined why she was the red-hot French Open favourite by beating Coco Gauff in straight sets to win her second Grand Slam title.

Poland’s Swiatek, 21, won 6-1 6-3 against the American teenager to record her 35th straight victory – equalling the longest WTA streak this century.

Gauff, 18, was contesting a first major singles final and made a nervy start.

Swiatek, who also won Roland Garros in 2020, took full advantage and went on to win her sixth successive title.

By fighting back from a break down in the second set, Swiatek won the 56th of her past 58 sets.

She also maintained her streak of winning in finals, extending that record to nine in a row.

With clouds darkening and thunder rumbling overhead, Swiatek brought up two championship points and took the first when Gauff hit a forehand long.

After a warm embrace with Gauff, Swiatek dashed off court to hug her team in the stands – and Poland footballer Robert Lewandowski, who came to watch on his day off from Nations League duty.

“Two years ago winning this title was something amazing and never expected,” said Swiatek, who finished her victory speech to send a message of support to Ukraine following the invasion by Russia.

“This time I had worked hard to get here and did everything I could, even though the pressure was tough. The pressure was big but I did it.”

The celebrations were in stark contrast to the sight of Gauff, who was distraught as she sat alone on her chair and broke into tears before putting a towel over her head.

“I’d like to thank my team. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get this one today,” the 18th seed said when collecting her runner-up trophy.

“But thank you guys for always supporting me. Hopefully this is the first final of many.”

Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek
Coco Gauff will aim to win a Grand Slam doubles title on Sunday, playing alongside fellow American Jessica Pegula

Swiatek crowns her dominance with Grand Slam title

Not since Serena Williams in her prime had there been as strong a favourite for a Grand Slam women’s singles title as Swiatek.

In a stunning start to 2022, the Polish player won five consecutive tournaments – in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome – and took over as the WTA world number one following Ashleigh Barty’s surprise retirement in March.

Since then, her level has increased even further and to a point far higher than any of her rivals on the WTA Tour.

A dominant win against Gauff moved her alongside Venus Williams in holding the longest streak by any WTA player this century.

The differing levels of experience at this stage of tournaments between Swiatek and Gauff – playing in her first final this year – showed from the start.

The American produced a double fault for 0-30 and then a weak backhand for the first break point of the match. That went Swiatek’s way when Gauff hit a forehand long.

It continued Swiatek’s record of breaking her opponent’s serve at the first attempt in every match at Roland Garros this year.

A couple of backhand winners down the line in the next game seemed as if they might settle the American as she took Swiatek to deuce.

However, Swiatek held serve with an ace and a forehand winner and then swamped her opponent’s serve to break again for a 3-0 lead.

“I wasn’t as nervous really entering the match,” Gauff said.

“When I lost the first couple of games the nerves started to come, but when I lost the first set I really came out in the second and had a new mindset.”

“But for the most part I think that Iga was just too good.”

Supported by a sympathetic crowd who wanted to see a contest, Gauff got on the scoreboard to huge cheers at 4-1 but continued to be overwhelmed as Swiatek wrapped up the opening set in 32 minutes.

Gauff nipped off court at the end of the first set and returned to break in the first game of the second and then held for a 2-0 lead.

But her forehand continued to break down under severe pressure as Swiatek rattled off the next five games to turn the set around.

In the end, Swiatek’s greater experience in finals – she has lost only one of her nine at the top level and that was her first in April 2019 – helped secure a victory which most had predicted before the clay-court Grand Slam started.

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