Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff dominate to set up mouthwatering French Open final

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The French Open final will be played out between Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff after blistering displays from both women on Thursday.

Swiatek dominated Russia’s Daria Kasatkina to book her place with her 34th-consecutive victory, 6-2, 6-1.

The Pole donned a Ukrainian badge in support for her national neighbours’ fight against the Russian invasion, and bounced back from an early break to comfortably secure a pot in Saturday’s showdown.

“Pretty special moment. Yeah, I'm really emotional. I'm so grateful to be in this place and you know, be healthy and be able to play my game. It's amazing and I love playing here," said 2020 Roland Garros champion Swiatek.

“Right after my first year there was Covid and I was not able to see how many Polish people would come. It's overwhelming. I try to treat every match the same way. When I realise this is one of the biggest matches of the season, it could stress me out."

Swiatek started with a double fault but held and broke in the second game, only for Kasatkina to break back and level for 2-2.

The Russian's game, however, was riddled with unforced errors and Swiatek collected free points to steal her opponent's serve again for 4-2.

She then won eight points in a row to wrap up the opening set with a crosscourt backhand return that left Kasatkina with her feet stuck on the red dirt.

Swiatek, looking to become the fourth woman since 2000 - after Justine Henin, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova - to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup twice, kept her foot on the gas to take the early lead in the second set.

But Kasatkina, who had lost all their three encounters in straight sets this season, stemmed the bleeding with a hold for 1-1. It was only a brief relief for the world No20, who was being bludgeoned by Swiatek's precise and powerful forehands.

Iga Swiatek (AP)
Iga Swiatek (AP)

The top seed won all the remaining games, allowing a sorry Kasatkina only nine points in the second set, and finished it off with an ace.

Gauff, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament and is the youngest finalist at any Grand Slam in 18 years, thumped Italy's Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1 in the second semi-final.

The American youngster needed time to find her range, trading two early breaks each with Trevisan. Once she found a way to neutralise the left-hander's punishing forehand, however, Gauff breezed through the first set by winning the last three games.

The 28-year-old Trevisan, bidding to become the lowest ranked finalist in the event's history, took a medical break to strap up her right calf. But things just got worse for her as she piled up 35 errors by the middle of the second set.

Ranked 23rd in the world, Gauff broke her again in a game lasting 14 minutes to go 3-1 up and never looked back, sealing her biggest career win on her first match point.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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