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French Open: Swiatek to meet Paolini in final

World number one Iga Swiatek is set to compete against first-time Grand Slam finalist Jasmine Paolini in the French Open final, as she aims for her third consecutive Roland Garros title.

Swiatek extended her dominance in Paris by defeating US Open champion Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4, marking her 20th consecutive victory in the French capital. The Polish star has now triumphed in 11 of her 12 matches against Gauff, all in straight sets. She is now on the verge of joining Justine Henin, Chris Evert, and Steffi Graf as the only women in the Open era to secure four Roland Garros titles. Her career record at the French Open stands at an astounding 34-2.

“Something clicked, and I adjusted better to the court,” Swiatek said. She took control early against Gauff, breaking serve in the opening game and securing a double break at 4-1. Despite a brief resurgence from Gauff, Swiatek sealed the match on her fourth match point. “I stayed consistent with my tactics, didn’t overthink, and just went for it,” she added.

Gauff acknowledged Swiatek’s dominance, stating, “She’s a tough opponent for me. The numbers speak for themselves.” Gauff is set to rise to world number two next week.

Paolini, the 28-year-old Italian, surprised many by advancing to her first Grand Slam final, defeating 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva 6-3, 6-1. Prior to this year, Paolini had never progressed beyond the second round of a major. Now, she is one victory away from an improbable title, aiming to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Francesca Schiavone, who won the 2010 French Open. “I’m thrilled to have dreamed of this moment. I’m so emotional,” Paolini said.

Andreeva, the youngest Grand Slam semi-finalist in 27 years, fell short of becoming the youngest major champion since Martina Hingis in 1997. Overwhelmed by the occasion, she left the court in tears after an error-filled performance.

(Source: AFP)

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