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Dominant Swiatek brings the thunder by beating Gauff for second Roland-Garros title
Iga Swiatek powered to the Roland-Garros title, sweeping past Coco Gauff to extend her winning streak to 35
For an apt indication of Iga Swiatek’s recent dominance, one only needs to glance at who the Pole surpassed — and now tied — in extending her winning streak to 35 matches after storming to a second Roland-Garros title.
In downing Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3, she pulled one clear of Serena Williams’s achievement of 34 wins in a row, back in 2013, and moved level with Venus Williams on the list of the longest women’s streaks since 2000.
And just like the sisters, the run – which encompasses six tournament victories – now includes a Major triumph. In Venus’ case, she grabbed two and an Olympic gold in 2000.
This was the question facing Swiatek heading into Roland-Garros: could the world No 1 transform all the tour victories into success on the biggest of stages, withstanding the pressure of maintaining the streak and all the understandable queries from outsiders? The victory over Gauff in just over an hour under the roof on Court Philippe-Chatrier answered any doubters.
She brought thunder to the court Saturday, matching the thunder provided by Mother Nature outside.
Swiatek only conceded one set all tournament — to the big-hitting Zheng Qinwen of China in the fourth round — and during the streak that began in Doha in February, just six.
The score against Gauff replicated Ash Barty’s win over Marketa Vondrousova in 2019; and Swiatek has already admitted that during the off-season she practised defending Barty-like slices in anticipation of future match-ups with the Australian. But Barty retired while still world No. 1 after winning the Australian Open, and it’s a pity we may not see the two duel in their primes.
TEARS FOR BOTH
Gauff, mature well beyond her 18 years, wept in her chair after the showpiece ended and during her speech on court. Swiatek’s tears came during the playing of the Polish national anthem.
Gauff should not be too disconsolate. Contesting a first Grand Slam final is never easy, and the American encountered an opponent who has now bagged two Roland-Garros crowns – and in dominant fashion. Swiatek’s record in finals improved to a staggering 9-1, losing her first. The rest have been straight-set affairs.
She broke straight away, perhaps capitalising on Gauff’s nerves, and held for 2-0.
The opener was all but over when Swiatek broke again for 3-0 — after Gauff had saved four break points.
Would Swiatek buckle, knowing she was getting ever closer to another Roland-Garros title?
Thee were signs in the first game of the second.
Swiatek unusually committed four unforced errors, including striking a forehand that went significantly wide to end the game.
The neutrals in the stadium, keen on a competitive match, willed Gauff on. Soon enough, it was 2-0.
But Swiatek replied by claiming five straight games, blending her combination of attack — led by the forehand — and defence when required.
Overall, 18 winners and 16 unforced errors were a tidy tally.
Amid all offensive prowess, it’s easy to forget how well Swiatek covers the court, too.
Gauff held for 3-5, at deuce, meaning Swiatek would have to serve out the championship.
She did so, officially able to celebrate when Gauff’s forehand return looped long.
Moments later she exchanged a hug with fellow Pole Robert Lewandowski, one of football’s most feared strikers.
Swiatek currently, in women’s tennis, is unquestionably the most feared.