The world No 1 extended her winning streak to 34 matches in her semi-final to equal a record held by Serena Williams for the second-longest unbeaten streak on Tour since 2000; Coco Gauff secured a place in her first Grand Slam singles final after a straight-sets win over Martina Trevisan
Tuesday 7 June 2022 00:29, UK
World No 1 Iga Swiatek will take on first-time Grand Slam singles finalist Coco Gauff in the French Open final on Saturday.
Swiatek beat Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1 to extend her winning run to 34 matches. Gauff made light work of Martina Trevisan 6-3 6-1 to reach the first Grand Slam final of her career at the age of 18.
Gauff is the youngest Roland Garros finalist since Kim Clijsters in 2001 and the youngest major finalist since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004.
Both Gauff and Trevisan took a few games to settle during the early stages of the second semi-final on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Locked at three games apiece, Gauff started to use her groundstrokes to take control of points and a three-game run secured her the first set.
Trevisan then took a medical timeout to have her right thigh treated and taped by a trainer.
Gauff handled the break well, using it to enjoy eating a fruit salad, as she has done during many of her matches in Paris. The 18-year-old then put an early stamp on the set by going 3-1 up.
From there she continued to play with confidence, hitting 14 winners in total and winning 74 per cent of points behind her first serve during the 88-minute contest.
"I think I'm a little bit in shock right now, I have no words to describe how I feel," Gauff said on court after. "Thank you all for cheering me on.
"I wasn't nervous going in today, I haven't been nervous all week which is a surprise. I go for a walk in the morning which clears my head and, after that, I feel great."
Gauff then spoke about how she's planning to take a first Grand Slam singles final in her stride.
"I'm in the mindset now that it doesn't matter, I'm going to be happy either way and my parents are going to love me, regardless.
On Court Philippe-Chatrier, the winner is invited to write a message on the camera before leaving the court and Gauff chose to write, 'Peace. End gun violence. Coco.'
"Yes it's a Grand Slam final but there are so many things going on right now - especially in the US right now a lot of things are going on - I think it's not important to stress over a tennis match."
Swiatek, the world No 1, notched up her 34th win in succession with her straight-sets semi-final victory over Kasatkina.
The 20-year-old from Poland has now matched Serena Williams by achieving the second-longest winning streak on Tour since 2000. If Swiatek is victorious in the final on Saturday, she will equal Venus Williams' achievement of 35 straight wins.
Swiatek is also the first player to reach six or more finals on the WTA Tour in the first six months of the year since Serena in 2013.
Swiatek needed just 64 minutes on court against Kasatkina to complete her straight-sets win. She has dropped just one set at Roland Garros en route to the final.
"I try to treat every match the same way, and if I realise this is one of the most important matches of the season it stresses me out," Swiatek said during her on-court interview.
"So I just listen to music - I listened to Led Zeppelin on the walk out - it really pumps me up and I use everything to help me."
The Paris breeze initially caught Swiatek as she double-faulted the first point. Then, when Kasatkina scrambled an early break back for 2-2, it looked as if the semi-final could turn into a great contest.
However, the world No 1 upped her intensity and Kasatkina won just one more game. Swiatek took 20 of the last 23 points and continues to look imperious on clay.