Unstoppable Swiatek cruises to second French Open title

IN a performance indicative of her entire tournament, world number one Iga Swiatek bulldozed past teenager Coco Gauff to win her second French Open. The Polish 21-year-old – who became the first Pole to win a Grand Slam title when she collected her first Roland Garros title in 2020 – doubled up her trophy cabinet for the clay major, by defeating Gauff 6-1 6-3 in just 68 minutes. Additionally, Swiatek’s victory made it 35 on the trot, breaking Serena Williams‘ 21st century winning streak in the process.

The match was the fifth out of seven in Paris where Swiatek dropped five games or less, only losing one game in the first set, as she dominated, winning 67 per cent of her first serve points – and 13 of 19 overall – off a 79 per cent efficiency. By comparison, Gauff only won the 14 from 33 points and hit six more unforced errors (14-8). Swiatek had one more winner (8-7) as well as the only ace of the set to triumph 6-1.

Gauff started the second set strongly, but was unable to contain the world number one after an early break, with Swiatek breaking twice from both her opportunities in the set. The Pole won 76 and 50 per cent of her first and second serve points, compared to Gauff’s 53 and 29 per cent, while hitting three more winners (10-7) and one less unforced error (8-9) to take out the match, 6-1 6-3 in an hour and eight minutes to make history.

“It feels amazing really, very different from 2020,” Swiatek said after her win. “I feel more prepared, more solid. I can celebrate a little bit more.

“I think in 2020 the main thing that I felt was confusion, because I have never really believed 100 per cent that I can actually win a Grand Slam.

“This time it was pure work and pure… I don’t know. Just with everything that was going on, I’m also more aware of how it is to win a Grand Slam and what it takes and how every puzzle has to come together and basically every aspect of the game has to work.

“With that awareness, I was even more happy and even more proud of myself, because in 2020 it was all, I just felt that I’m lucky. This time I felt like I really did the work.”

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