Future of women’s tennis to face off in Paris final

TWO stars of the WTA Tour will face off in the Roland Garros women’s singles final after crushing their respective semi-finals opponents. One current star – world number one and past Grand Slam winner – Iga Swiatek will lock horns with a rising star in American 18th seed Coco Gauff. For Gauff, the United States representative becomes the youngest Grand Slam women’s finalist since 2004.

Swiatek stormed to victory in just 64 minutes, only dropping three games against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina. The Polish top ranked player won 6-2 6-1 in a jaw-dropping display of dominance, meaning she has only dropped a total of 29 games for the entire tournament. In the match, Swiatek’s serve was on song, winning 79 per cent and 58 per cent of her first and second serves, compared to Kasatkina’s poor record of 44 and 21 per cent.

Breaking five times from 10 chances compared to Kasatkina’s one from her only opportunity, Swiatek took nothing for granted, hitting 22 winners to 10, and only had the 13 unforced errors to 24. Winning a whopping 63 per cent of her receiving points, the Polish star never looked like losing and cruised into the final in just over an hour. Swiatek will be gunning for her second French Open title in three years, having won Roland Garros in 2020, and became the first Polish player to win a Grand Slam title.

Swiatek said she was overcome with emotion of reaching her second Grand Slam final in Paris.

“It’s a pretty special moment, I’m really emotional, I’m so grateful to be in that place, to be healthy and able to play that game. I love playing here,” Swiatek said post-match.

“It’s easier to play matches with that kind of support. I’ve felt it in every place I played this year, basically, which is still surprising for me. “I try to treat every match the same because when I’m going to realise this is one of the biggest matches of the season, it’s going to stress me out. I listen to music coming out onto the court. Today was Led Zeppelin. It is really pumping me up.”

Meanwhile Gauff made her semi-final look almost as easy, storming past tricky Italian Martina Trevisan. The clay court specialist caused a number of upsets this tournament, whilst the powerful American really started showing her full potential in Paris. In just one hour and 28 minutes, Gauff was through to the final, her maiden Grand Slam final.

Like Swiatek, Gauff has dropped just 29 games en route to the final, and unlike her opponent, is yet to drop a set. Though only playing one seed – 31st seed Elise Mertens – in a remarkable run of luck – Gauff has not put a foot wrong all tournament. Against Trevisan, Gauff won 6-3 6-1 and her success off her serve was the big difference.

She won 74 and 47 per cent of her first and second serve points, compared to Trevisan’s 46 and 32 per cent. Producing a massive top serve speed of 185 km/h, Gauff also hit 14 inners to 13, and only 20 unforced errors to the Italian’s 36. She served the only ace of the game, and two less double faults (2-4).

Gauff said she was relaxed going into the Roland Garros final, and was going to enjoy the experience.

“I think I’m in a mindset now, like, it doesn’t matter,” she said post-match. “I’m going to be happy regardless (of what happens in the final). “My parents are going to love me regardless. I’m just going to go into it as another match.

“Yeah it’s a Grand Slam final but there are so many things going on in the world now, especially in the US, a lot of things going on right now, so I think it’s not important to stress over a tennis match.”

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