Iga Swiatek wins the French Open, defeating Coco Gauff in the women’s final


Iga Swiatek wins the French Open, defeating Coco Gauff in the women's final

PARIS – After two weeks of playing at Roland Garros, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek and 18-year-old American Coco Gauff met to win the title.

Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, claimed her 35th straight win, equaling the best run of this century, a record set by Venus Williams. More importantly, it gave her a second Grand Slam title and cemented her status as the undisputed No. 1 in the world. World No. 18 Gauff reached her first Grand Slam final after a dream run in which she didn’t drop a set.

Updates from the game:

made history

Swiatek celebrates her dominant win by celebrating with her family and team in her box and she ran to them right after the match. With her victory, Swiatek is now the youngest woman since Maria Sharapova in 2006 to win multiple Majors and the first woman since Justine Henin in 2004 to win her first Major since becoming world No. 1. And if that’s not enough, Swiatek has now reached Venus Williams’ mark of 35 straight wins – the best such streak of this millennium in the WTA. — D’Arcy Maine

Coco should be proud

It was an incredible fourteen days for Gauff. Of course she will be disappointed now, but this was a big step forward for her.

“This is the first time for me, so I’m trying to get through it,” Gauff said afterwards. “First I want to congratulate Iga – what you have done is amazing and you deserve it. Hopefully we will play each other in more finals and maybe one day I will win against you. I would like to thank my team, sorry that I didn’t quite get it today but thank you guys for all the support. Hopefully this is the first of many….”

If she keeps improving like this, she will surely be in more Grand Slam finals again. – Simon Cambers

Swiatek secures French Open title as the sky turns

A thunderclap greeted Swiatek as she served to the match. It was an absolutely ruthless performance from the world No. 1 as she defeated Gauff in 1 hour and 8 minutes. It was always losing her title and it was never really in doubt. Swiatek takes to the stands to greet her team and soccer star Robert Lewandowski joins the celebrations. Gauff records everything alone and sheds a tear. It was a tournament of hers – she reached her first Grand Slam final. – Tom Hamilton

The weather is turning…

The sky has suddenly overcast in Roland Garros and thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon. The floodlights are now burning on Court Philippe Chatrier when Gauff starts the second set with a break against Swiatek. – Tom Hamilton

Iga takes the first set

After Swiatek won the first set 6-1 in just 32 minutes, it was Gauff’s first losing set of the tournament. To make matters worse for Gauff, Swiatek has a 35-4 record in her big career after winning the opening set and is 18-0 at the French Open. — D’Arcy Maine

Swiatek so aggressive

That was a brutal sentence for Coco Gauff. Swiatek was over her second serve. Gauff needs a quick start in the second set to believe her. – Simon Cambers

Polish kings in the stands watch Polish kings

Footballer Robert Lewandowski is here in the stadium watching Swiatek. The two are Poland’s most prominent sports stars. Lewandowski has taken a break from national duty to assist Swiatek after starting XI in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Wales. – Tom Hamilton

Strong start required

How important is it to win the opening set in a grand final? Good news for Swiatek, who took a 3-0 lead early on, it’s almost a requirement for the women’s team.

According to research from ESPN Stats & Information, the opening set winner has won 58 of the last 65 women’s major finals and 18 of the last 20 at the French Open. Simona Halep was the last champion in Paris to recover from losing the opening set; She rallied to come back over Sloane Stephens to lift the trophy in 2018. — D’Arcy Maine

All about Coco’s second serve

If Gauff can play clean on serve, i.e. reduce the number of double faults to a minimum, then she has a real chance. The problem is that Swiatek will try to survive her second serve. So if Gauff wants to win, a high first-serve percentage is imperative.

Unsurprisingly, Gauff looks nervous. She could use a few mistakes from Swiatek early on to help her settle in. I’m not sure if she gets them though. – Simon Cambers

Prepare the stage

Philippe Chatrier’s court is still filling up as Swiatek and Gauff head outside to a brilliant welcome from the crowd. We already had a visit from Rafa Nadal today before tomorrow’s final, and in front of the presidential box there is a tennis king with Billie Jean King on the best seats. – Tom Hamilton

warm up

Game preview

Why Iga Swiatek will win

Quite simply, Swiatek is currently the best player in the world. Since losing to Yelena Ostapenko in February, she has lost just two sets, one in Stuttgart and one in Paris, winning 34 straight games and clinching five titles in the process.

Swiatek, who was the 2020 champion at 19, is a far better player now. Ash Barty’s retirement could have left her, missing a rival and lacking motivation, much like John McEnroe felt when Bjorn Borg quit. Instead, she has seized the mantle of No. 1 and appears to be actively embracing it.

“I use the No. 1 to put pressure on my opponents,” she said at the start of the tournament.

Her serve is strong, her forehand is deadly, her backhand is solid, her faith is unstoppable. Much has been made of the work she and her sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz have done off the pitch to keep her balanced and putting everything in perspective, but Swiatek’s innate ability to find a solution on the pitch when she in trouble is just as impressive.

Aggressive on her opponent’s second serve, where she won 66% of the points, she’ll put pressure on Gauff, whose Achilles’ heel is her occasionally brittle second serve. She will attack, she will attack and then attack some more. It’s hard to see her being stopped. – Simon Cambers

Why Coco Gauff will win

From the start of the tournament, there was something about Coco Gauff, a newfound maturity on the pitch matched only by her remarkable maturity off the pitch.

The 18-year-old reached the quarter-finals here two years ago and kicked off this year’s visit to Paris by celebrating her A-levels. From the start she seemed relaxed, determined and totally in her element.

Clay might yet turn out to be their best surface. A brilliant move on all surfaces, she’s adapted to gliding and her court coverage has effortless efficiency.

It’s her first Grand Slam final, so there’s bound to be nerves. But her game is in such a good place that she seems to belong at this level. This is probably the first of many Grand Slam finals, certainly not an isolated one.

A lot will depend on how much control she can get from the baseline. If Swiatek can serve well and get her forehand going it could be difficult. But if Gauff stretches the rallies and focuses on the backhand-to-backhand transitions, she can win.

There is a Grand Slam title at stake but the feeling is that Gauff will handle it with ease.

Swiatek is “obviously on a winning streak,” said Gauff. “I think if I go in I have nothing to lose and she’s definitely the favorite on paper. I’ll just play for free and play my best tennis. I think anything can happen in a Grand Slam final.” – Simon Cambers

What will happen?

Swiatek should win on paper, but it could be close, maybe three sets. If Gauff serves well, she has a big chance. If not, Swiatek is probably too strong at the moment. Sit back and enjoy! – Simon Cambers

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