Iga Swiatek brushed past Daria Kasatkina in their semi-final clash to book a place in the 2022 French Open final. The world no. 1 claimed a 6-2, 6-1 win in just 64 minutes.
At the start of the match, both players looked like they would need a couple of games to settle into their rhythm and as a result, the first two games of the opening set saw an exchange of breaks between the two. However, even as Swiatek began to play her shots freely, Kasatkina struggled not only with the timing of her shots but at times, also in how she constructed and executed them. This also allowed Swiatek to put a wider margin between herself and her opponent that eventually seemed too difficult to bridge for the 20th seed in the second set.
Swiatek won 79% of her first-serve points to Kasatkina’s 44% and 58% of her second-serve points while her 25-year-old opponent lagged in this tally, winning merely 21%. The confidence and poise that Kasatkina had shown in the previous rounds seemed to have deserted as she failed to counter Swiatek’s barrage of shots, both on her serve and return. As a result, while Swiatek had 22 winners, Kasatkina finished with 10. Likewise, Kasatkina finished with 24 unforced errors to the Pole’s 13.
French Open: The crescendo of Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff’s rivalry
In the final, Swiatek will play Coco Gauff for a chance to win her second Major and her second French Open title. The American 18th seed completed a routing of her own against Italian Martina Trevisan, 6-3, 6-1 to reach her first-ever final at a Slam.
Five of the first seven games of the first set were service breaks, beginning in the third game, on Trevisan’s serve. Finally, Gauff ended the streak by consolidating the break she’d earned in the seventh game, in the eighth and pocketed the set after securing another service break in the ninth game. The set also had some fraught moments with Gauff talking with the chair umpire about Trevisan’s grunting and the umpire issuing a warning to the latter.
As in the first semi-final, the second set of the Trevisan-Gauff encounter saw Gauff dictate points and play with Trevisan’s errors multiplying and giving her opponent, a clear advantage. In the seventh game, while serving for the match, Gauff had no problems and converted the win on the first of her three match points.
Gauff finished with 14 winners to Trevisan’s 13 but the latter was undone by the 36 unforced errors she hit, 16 more than Gauff’s 20. Trevisan’s defeat also ended her 10-match victory streak that had begun at the Rabat Open.
Meanwhile, the French Open final between Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff will be the third time the two will be pitted against each other. Swiatek holds a definite upper hand having won both previous matches, including the one played this year at the Miami Open. Alongside bidding for another Major win, Swiatek will also be bidding to extend her streak of wins to 35, thus equalling Venus Williams’ record.
Photo Credit: French Open Twitter