French Open: Swiatek crushes Kasatkina to reach Roland Garros final

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Iga Swiatek charged past Daria Kasatkina to reach the French Open final with a devastating display of excellence.

The surprise 2020 Roland Garros champion is this year's hot favourite for the title, and she extended her astonishing winning run to 34 matches with a 6-2 6-1 victory on Thursday.

It was magnificent from top seed Swiatek, who from 2-2 in the first set won 10 of the next 11 games, sealing victory with an ace.

Kasatkina is a former French Open girls' champion and this was her first grand slam semi-final at the age of 25, with the Russian having largely breezed through to this round.

A former world number 10, now ranked at 20 by the WTA, Barcelona-based Kasatkina would have returned to the top 10 had she reached the final in Paris. However, she had lost three times to Swiatek already in 2022, winning only 11 games in those matches, and so this landslide result was perhaps inevitable.

Kasatkina's start was bright enough, recovering an early break, but Swiatek soon began to take control, moving well and finding her range, crucially keeping her winners count higher than the unforced errors.

Picking off Kasatkina's soft second serve was helping Swiatek's cause, and a stunning forehand clean winner from one such scenario sealed a 5-1 lead as Swiatek closed in on the title match.

She wrapped it up in just an hour and four minutes, the potential of the match-up never materialising as Swiatek, who spent time listening to Led Zeppelin before coming on court, left Kasatkina dazed and confused.

Data slam: Swiatek exploits Kasatkina weakness

Swiatek, who was ranked at number 54 when she took the title as a teenager, was still a work in progress at the time. She is fast becoming the finished article and Kasatkina found the 21-year-old's power and precision overwhelming. Here, Kasatkina dropped sets for the first time in the tournament, and her second serve was made to look ridiculously meek. Kasatkina won only three of 14 points on her second serve, and that is a recipe for defeat.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 22/13
Kasatkina – 10/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 1/2
Kasatkina – 2/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 5/10
Kasatkina – 1/1

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