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Gauff, Swiatek tears make for poignant scenes after Roland-Garros final

There were tears from both Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek after the Roland-Garros final won by the Pole

Coco Gauff Coco Gauff of the U.S. with trophy after losing the women’s singles final match against Poland’s Iga Swiatek (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Iga Swiatek’s brilliant display Saturday and during Roland-Garros as a whole is sure to resonate. Her winning streak now stands at 35 after topping Coco Gauff in the final. 

But the poignant scenes from Swiatek, 21, and Gauff, 18, post match won’t be forgotten, either. 

Gauff, a prodigy when she was a younger teen, even, wept in her chair when the encounter on Court Philippe-Chatrier ended. 

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff of the U.S. reacts during the trophies ceremony after losing the women’s singles final match against Poland’s Iga Swiatek (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

There were more tears from the maiden Grand Slam finalist as she addressed her team, which includes mum Candi and dad, Corey. He appeared to be in tears, too, in her player box. 

“I’d like to thank my team,” said Gauff, who had first congratulated Swiatek, a former fellow competitor on the junior circuit. “I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get this win today.”

Gauff then cried, prompting the Parisian crowd to roar in support of the 18th-seeded Floridian.  “But thank you guys for always supporting me. Hopefully this is the first final of many and I really appreciate you guys a lot.” 

Swiatek’s tears came during the Polish national anthem, and after she hoisted her second Roland-Garros trophy. 

‘TRYING NOT TO BREAK’

Before her own speech, the dominant world No 1 said: “I just told Coco ‘Don’t cry’ and what am I doing now?’” She offered kind words to Gauff, praising her progress.

Gauff remained teary during her post match press conference and was handed tissues by the press officer as she departed the main interview room.

“I think for me I just don’t know how to handle the emotions right now. So the tears just come,” she said.

I have to get drug tested and I told the lady, ‘Do I look like I’ve been crying for so long? I don’t know whether to smile or cry.

Coco Gauff

“I try really hard not to cry on the court, and I knew whether I won or lost I was. But really, I feel happy really and sad, so it’s like, I don’t know how to handle it. I hate myself for crying. I have to get drug tested and I told the lady, ‘Do I look like I’ve been crying for so long?’ I don’t know whether to smile or cry.

“I think for me it’s just how I respond to everything going on. Because I think for right now like emotionally it’s just a lot for me to handle, and I’m like trying really hard not to break.”

She should not be harsh on herself, and her mixed emotions are understandable. Gauff, represented by Roger Federer’s management company, is already a fine ambassador for the game and speaks beyond her years.

Swiatek followed up on her success at Roland-Garros in 2020, although that victory was largely unexpected as she was ranked 54th. 

SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE

“Two years ago winning this title was something amazing,” said Swiatek, who also had her dad, Tomasz, in the stands. “Honestly. I wouldn’t expect it ever. But this time I feel like I worked hard and did everything to get here even though it was pretty tough. 

“The pressure was big.”

Iga Swiatek
Poland’s Iga Swiatek celebrates with trophy after winning the women’s singles final match against Coco Gauff (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Two days after Gauff signed the camera lens with ‘Peace’ and ‘End gun violence’ after more shootings in the US, Swiatek ended her speech by supporting Ukraine. 

“I want to at the end say something to Ukraine, to stay strong because the war is still there,” to which the crowd responded with extended applause. 

“Since my first speech in Doha,” she continued, referring to the city where she began her title streak in February, “I was hoping that when I am going to do the next one, the situation is going to get better but I’m still going to have hopes and try to support, so thanks guys and see you next year.”

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