Swiatek Sweeps Past Gauff To Reach Fourth French Open Final; Paolini Puts Away Andreeva

by Staff | June 6th, 2024, 1:39 pm
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Iga Swiatek continued her reign as the Queen of Clay easing past Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4 to reach her fourth French Open final.

“I think most of the things overall in my game worked today, so I’m proud of myself,” Swiatek said.

“The surface makes my game better,” she added. “My grip allows me to spin more. I can play more defense points because it’s a bit slower, but on the other hand, I have also more time to attack sometimes. So I feel like I’m just using it well.”

The world No. 1 broke Gauff to start the match and then withstood the American’s hyper-aggressive tactics which produced a slew of errors.

Gauff would make things interesting early in the second. She cut down on the risk-taking and went up a break 3-1. But Swiatek adjusted and took five of the last six games to win her 20th straight match at Roland Garros and overall it was her 18th straight win on tour.

“For sure it was intense,” Swiatek said. “In the second set it was kind of tight because we were breaking each other, but I’m happy that I was consistent with my tactics – I didn’t overthink stuff and I just went for it at the end.”

Gauff, playing in her third straight Slam semifinal, had 39 unforced errors to Swiatek’s 14. And Swiatek’s new serve reached 123MPH, just two MPH shy of Gauff’s fastest on the day.

“I think it was the execution that I didn’t do well on,” Gauff said. “I had a couple of break points early in the first set to break back. I made errors, a lot of short ball errors.

“I think for the most part I do think I had the right idea, but I think I just made too many errors.”

Swiatek improves to 11-1 against Gauff having defeated her the last three years in Paris.

“I think she’s progressing a lot,” Swiatek said of Gauff. “You can see by her results. Last year’s US Open showed for sure that she’s tough. I think at this age, it’s obvious that she’s going to grow, so it’s great to see her handling everything around her so well – I’m sure we’re going to have plenty more really intense matches at the highest level because Coco is one of the most consistent players out there.”

Now 7-0 once she reaches the French semifinals, Swiatek will take on the surprising Jasmine Paolini.

In their first Slam semifinal, Paolini took on the 17-year-old teen sensation Mirra Andreeva and it never was a match. The 28-year-old Paolini capitalized on the teen’s inexperience and errors and cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win to reach her biggest career final.

“I lost to her a couple of months ago and I told myself I had to play better. Ball after ball I was getting more relaxed. It’s tough to stay relaxed at this stage,” Paolini said.

“I just hit the ball, enjoy, it worked, so I’m really happy.”

Paolini had never been past the second round at Roland Garros or the third round at a Slam until this year. Now she’s riding the Italian wave.

“I learned a little bit later than other players. To dream is the most important thing in sport and in life,” Paolini said. “I’m happy that I can be in this dream moment.”

Swiatek leads Paolini 2-0 with two easy wins at the 2022 US Open 6-3, 6-0 and at 2018 Prague 6-2, 6-1.

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