Swiatek thrashes Coco Gauff in French Open

The 21-year-old Pole’s blend of power, poise and precision on clay was too much to handle for the 18-year-old Gauff, who never recovered from a shaky start in her maiden Grand Slam final.
Swiatek thrashes Coco Gauff in French Open
World No 1 Iga Swiatek with French Open trophyIANS

PARIS: World No 1 Iga Swiatek confirmed her dominance of women’s tennis as she swept aside American teenager Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3 in the final to clinch her second French Open title in three years on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Pole’s blend of power, poise and precision on clay was too much to handle for the 18-year-old Gauff, who never recovered from a shaky start in her maiden Grand Slam final. Swiatek has now won 35 consecutive matches – matching the longest unbeaten streak since Venus Williams in 2000.

She raced through the opening set and snapped Gauff’s brief resistance in the second to become the fourth player to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup on multiple occasions this century. “Two years ago, winning this (the Cup) was something amazing. This time, I feel I worked hard to get here. It was pretty tough, the pressure was big,” said Swiatek after sobbing when the Polish anthem was played.

“Thank you fans for the support, for coming, all the Polish flags I see there,” Swiatek added, also thanking her team “I am happy that every piece has finally come together.” Gauff thanked her team for getting to the final. “I am sorry I could not get this one today (Saturday), but thank you guys for always supporting me,” Gauff said.

Gauff had promised to play without pressure but in muggy conditions, she failed to find her breath as Swiatek’s all-in tennis added to the suffocating atmosphere. The top seed made the most of her opponent’s early nerves to break in the first game, setting the tone of a showdown which many had hoped would be a close contest.

A superb backhand passing shot winner got Gauff into the groove, but Swiatek kept the pressure on and stole her serve again. The Pole held for 4-0 and with little to lose, Gauff started to play more freely. But, Swiatek hit back harder to go 5-1 up with a gravity-defying forehand winner that dusted the baseline.

Gauff saved a set point with a forehand winner, but fired a backhand wide to go one down after just over half-an-hour. But as a cool breeze lowered the temperature on Court Philippe Chatrier, Gauff turned up the heat to go 2-0 up in the second set.

Eager for a longer contest, the crowd chanted “Coco, Coco!” as Gauff slipped to 0-30 on her serve at 2-1. Swiatek was undeterred and broke back for 2-2 before drowning Gauff in a deluge of winners, which helped her go 5-2 up. The American’s ordeal ended after 68 minutes when she sent a forehand long.

Newly-crowned champion Swiatek ran to her box after a brief winning celebration, while Gauff sat on her courtside chair and wept.

RESULT: Women’s singles: Final: I Swiatek bt C Gauff 6-1, 6-3

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