Iga Swiatek jolts Coco Gauff to reach French Open final

League: Tennis

Posted on: 06 Jun, 2024 at 04:58 PM

Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Top-seeded Iga Swiatek recorded a 6-2, 6-4 win over third-seeded Coco Gauff on Thursday to advance to the French Open final in Paris.

Swiatek, bidding for her fourth French Open title, won her 20th straight match at Roland Garros by dismissing Gauff in 97 minutes. The Poland native also is vying to become the first woman with three consecutive French Open titles since Justine Henin of Belgium accomplished the feat from 2005-07.

"For sure, it was intense," Swiatek said. "I'm happy that I just was consistent with my tactics and didn't overthink stuff and just went for it at the end."

Swiatek, 23, will face a first-time Grand Slam finalist on Saturday. No. 12 seed Jasmine Paolini of Italy defeated 17-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva 6-3, 6-1 in Thursday's other semifinal.

Swiatek benefited from 39 unforced errors from Gauff to improve to 11-1 in head-to-head meetings. That includes defeating her in the title match at Roland Garros in 2022 and the quarterfinals in 2023.

Swiatek did not drop serve during the opening set Thursday before Gauff showed some gumption in the second. Gauff broke Swiatek to claim a 3-1 lead, but not before the reigning U.S. Open champion was moved to tears after an exchange with chair umpire Aurelie Tourte.

Swiatek's serve initially was called out but the umpire overruled the call. Gauff, 20, misfired on the return but told the umpire she did so after the line call was made.

"Are you serious? They are booing you because you are wrong," Gauff told Tourte.

Swiatek swiftly responded by winning the next four games and captured the match after Gauff's forehand sailed out of bounds.

"It was intense," Swiatek said. "In the second set it was tight because we were breaking each other. I was consistent with my tactics and went for it.

"I think Coco is progressing a lot, you can see by her results. Last year's U.S. Open shows she's tough, she's going to grow, so it's nice to see her handling well everything around her. I'm sure we're going to have many more matches at the highest level."

Paolini saved all six break points she faced and committed only 10 unforced errors against Andreeva, the youngest woman to appear in a Grand Slam semifinal since a 16-year-old Martina Hingis in 1997. Andreeva finished with 29 unforced errors and just 11 winners.

Paolini, 28, becomes the third Italian woman in the Open Era to reach the French Open final, joining Francesca Schiavone (2010, 2011) and Sara Errani (2012).

Swiatek won the first two head-to-head meetings with Paolini, including a 6-3, 6-0 victory in the first round of the U.S. Open in 2022.

--Field Level Media