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The future is now as two of tennis’ young guns will contest the 2022 French Open women’s final as it is Iga Swiatek vs Coco Gauff in Saturday’s showpiece match on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Will Iga Swiatek hold aloft the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen for a second time – just a few days after turning 21 –when “game, set and match” is called or will 18-year-old Gauff win her maiden Grand Slam title?
Both are seen as the future of women’s tennis with Gauff breaking through in 2019 when she became the youngest player to reach the main draw at Wimbledon at the age of 15 years and three months. She went on to win her maiden title later that year.
The following year Swiatek announced her arrival on the big scene as she won her first trophy at the French Open to become Poland’s maiden major singles winner. This year she also became the first Polish No 1 and is currently on a hot streak (more on that below).
World ranking: 1
Career-high ranking: 1
Career singles titles: 8
Grand Slam singles titles: 1
Career prize money: $8,929,786
World ranking: 23
Career-high ranking: 15
Career singles titles: 2
Grand Slam singles titles: 0
Career prize money: $3,159,857
If you are a tennis fan then you will know that Iga Swiatek is on some run. If you are just a casual observer then you probably won’t be aware that she is on 34-match unbeaten streak – the joint-second longest run in the 21st century with only Venus Williams on 35 ahead of her.
Her run started on February 22 and the last player to beat her was Jelena Ostapenko in Dubai. She has beaten the who’s who on the WTA during the run and has lifted five trophies – including three WTA 1000 titles.
She will be the first to admit that she hasn’t faced the strongest field in Paris with 11th seed Jessica Pegula the highest-ranked player. The only player to take a set off her at Roland Garros was Qinwen Zheng in the fourth round.
Gauff’s season has been patchy so far with her best performance before the French Open was a run to the semi-final at the beginning of the year in Adelaide. She reached the round of 16 in her two tournaments before Paris.
The American is yet to drop a set at Roland Garros this year and Elise Mertens (31) was the highest-ranked player she has faced.
Iga Swiatek vs Coco Gauff head-to-head
They have met twice on the WTA Tour and Swiatek has won both matches in straight sets. Their first encounter was in Rome last year with the Pole winning 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 while she also claimed a 6-3, 6-1 victory in the round of 16 at this year’s Miami Open.
What they’ve said
“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. 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.” – Iga Swiatek
“I am going to be happy regardless. My parents are going to love me regardless. So I am going into it as another match. Yeah it’s a Grand Slam final but there are so many things going on in the world right now, especially in the United States, a lot of stuff is happening right now. I am not going to stress over a tennis match.” – Coco Gauff
“I’m pretty happy that she’s doing well, because I think she’s also had huge amount of pressure in her life. Being always the youngest one and the one that is supposed to be the future, it must have been tough. I’m happy that she’s doing well with that, because I’m sure that it took her a lot of energy to do it properly. But I can’t really judge, because I don’t know what’s going on there inside. So from what I see on court, she’s developing every year basically. And when I see her, I tend to forget that she’s 18. She’s playing really consistent. You can see her progressing, and I think that’s the most important thing.” – Swiatek on Gauff
On current form it is hard to look past a Swiatek victory as she is currently on an extraordinary stint that has seen her beat just about most top players. She has also beaten Gauff during that run and has generally looked a class above the rest of the field.
What will give Gauff a bit of confidence is the fact that she has beaten top-class players in the past as she defeated world No 1 Ashleigh Barty at last year’s Italian Open and also ousted defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open. She also have wins over Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka.
Your first Grand Slam final always comes with extra pressure, but in recent years the likes of Osaka, Bianca Andreescu, Sofia Kenin, Swiatek and Emma Raducanu have all showed that if you keep your emotions in check then you can be the last player standing.
If one has to place a bet you would be foolish to go against Swiatek.
The article 2022 French Open women’s final info, recent form, what they said, preview: Iga Swiatek vs Coco Gauff appeared first on Tennis365.com.