Iga Swiatek says fourth French Open title ’emotional’

Iga Swiatek admitted her fourth French Open win was “emotional” after emphatically keeping her Queen of Clay title at Roland Garros.

The world number one from Poland brushed aside Italian underdog Jasmine Paolini 6-2 6-1 in and hour and eight minutes.

King of Clay Rafael Nadal may have played his last French Open this year but Swiatek comprehensively proved once again she is also Roland Garros royalty.

“When I talk about pressure, I usually put pressure on myself because of pressure of the outside,” she said.

“Obviously I’m a perfectionist, so there is always pressure behind me. But I think I’m fine with handling my own pressure.

“It’s when the pressure from the outside hits me, then it’s a little bit worse. But I managed it really well at this tournament.

“It was an emotional win, because I felt a lot of stress yesterday and today in the morning. And I knew if I’m going to just focus on tennis I can kind of fight through it, and at the end it all went how I wanted. So I just felt really proud of myself.”

Swiatek is the first woman to win three consecutive Roland Garros titles since Justine Henin in 2007 and only the third to achieve the feat in Open history, along with Monica Seles.

She is undefeated in Paris since 2021, 21 matches ago, and has won 34 of her 36 matches here, a record matched only by Seles and Chris Evert.

Paolini was officially the runner-up, but Naomi Osaka should probably get a trophy for being the only player to lay a glove on Swiatek all fortnight, having taken her to match point in the second round in what was the match of the tournament, on either side of the draw.

Osaka aside, no player took more than six games off Swiatek, who at one point had won 20 consecutive games over three matches.

Such is her dominance there were even fears that Swiatek – who had already won one match 6-0 6-0 in 40 minutes this fortnight – could threaten the record for the fastest match of 32 minutes when Steffi Graf pulverised Natasha Zvereva by the same score in the 1988 final.

After all Paolini, the 12th seed, had until this year never been past the second round at a grand slam.

But the 28-year-old dispelled that notion when she survived a break point to hold in her first service game and then broke the world number one in the next.

She was cheered on by a healthy Italian contingent including one noisy corner who formed a tricolour mosaic with their green, white and red t-shirts.

But the bear had been poked and Paolini only won four more points in the next five games as Swiatek raced to the opening set.

She had won 10 in a row before Paolini got on the board again, but Swiatek wrapped up her fifth grand slam title moments later and sunk to her knees in celebration.

Paolini, who began ranked outside the top 30, will be the world number seven when the rankings are updated on Monday.

“Yeah, of course I’m really happy,” she added. “Now it’s a strange feeling. I just lost the final, but I think I have to be happy with those two weeks, you know, and my new ranking.

“It’s a happy moment for me. It’s not a sad moment. Yeah, I have to admit to try to see the things like that.”