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Flawless Iga Swiatek sweeps to Roland Garros title, conquers Coco Gauff in final
The world No. 1 maintained her perfect reign atop the WTA rankings by winning a 35th straight match and second major title, easing poast the American teenager in straight sets.
Published Jun 04, 2022
WATCH: Swiatek's dominant performance in the final saw her secure victory in 68 minutes on Saturday.
Long live the queen: Iga Swiatek’s flawless reign atop the WTA rankings continued in earnest on Saturday when she scored a 6-1, 6-3 win over Coco Gauff to claim her second Roland Garros title and win a 35th straight match.
Swiatek last lost a match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February and now ties Venus Williams for the longest win streak of the millennium. The Pole compiled a perfect clay-court swing with 16 wins and three titles in Stuttgart and Rome before arriving in Paris. With today's win she also becomes the youngest multiple major winner since a 19-year-old Maria Sharapova won the 2006 US Open to complement her 2004 Wimbledon crown.
Facing Gauff in the American teenager’s first major final, Swiatek proved far stronger in the toughest moments, securing victory over the No. 18 seed and 2018 junior champion after 68 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Swiatek, who turned 21 during this tournament, surely saw some of herself in Gauff across the net given her own romp to her first Roland Garros final as a teenager. Playing the lone autumn edition of Roland Garros, she roaring through seven matches to kick off the post-pandemic era as an exciting new champion. Though her 2021 season proved more middling, the Pole has kicked things up a notch since making her charge for world No. 1, winning five titles in between a run to the Australian Open semifinals and the second major of the season.
Eager to shake off the disappointing defeat she suffered in last year’s quarterfinals to Maria Sakkari, Swiatek barreled through her first six wins with the loss of only one set, a tiebreaker to Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen. Swiatek only lost eight games in her next two matches against No. 11 seed Jessica Pegula and No. 20 seed Daria Kasatkina, who were playing their first Roland Garros quarter- and semifinal, respectively.
Gauff, however, looked to be no pushover ahead of the championship match, making the finals in both singles and doubles with Pegula. A fellow 2021 quarterfinalist, the 18-year-old didn’t lose a set to reach the biggest final of her young career, winning four 6-0 and 6-1 sets along the way. Scoring back-to-back wins over No. 31 seed Elise Mertens and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens, Gauff showed impressive maturity to outfox surprise semifinalist Martina Trevisan to put herself in contention against Swiatek. Her aim was to become the fifth teenager since 1975 to defeat a world No. 1 and the first since Iva Majoli shocked Martina Hingis in 1997.
Swiatek had never lost to Gauff in two previous encounters, first on clay at the 2021 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, and more recently at the Miami Open in March; she looked to keep that mini-streak going with an early break on the American, who struggled off the forehand side early on.
Striking seven errors off that wing in the first three games alone, Gauff found herself down a double break at 4-0, and though she got on the board was overwhelmed by Swiatek’s cleaner hitting as she dropped the opening set in just over 30 minutes.
A sloppy game from Swiatek helped Gauff carve out a 2-0 lead to start the second, but Swiatek steadied to roll through the next five in a row.
Serving to stay in the match, the No. 18 seed dug out of 15-30 with a forehand winner and an ace, and though she was again two points from defeat when Swiatek struck a clean backhand return, Gauff escaped and forced Swiatek to serve for the title.
With two championship points in hand, Swiatek surged over the finish line when Gauff erred long off the return.
Swiatek will next head to the grass-court swing looking to not only continue her unbeaten run but also break new ground at Wimbledon, a tournament she won in 2018 as a junior.