Dominant Swiatek wins third straight French Open title

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Image caption: Iga Swiatek has lifted the French Open trophy in four of the past five years

Iga Swiatek achieved the rare feat of winning a third successive French Open women’s title with a comprehensive victory over Italian 12th seed Jasmine Paolini.
Poland’s Swiatek continued her recent dominance on the Roland Garros clay with a 6-2 6-1 win against first-time major finalist Paolini.
The world number one trailed by an early break but instantly hit back, winning 11 of the next 12 games to secure victory.

It has secured 23-year-old Swiatek a fourth title in Paris and a fifth Grand Slam triumph overall after her victory at the 2022 US Open.
“I love this place, I wait every year to play here,” said Swiatek, who won in just 68 minutes.
Swiatek follows Monica Seles and Justine Henin into the record books as the only players to have claimed a ‘three-peat’ in the women’s singles since the Open era began in 1968.
She is the youngest player in the Open era – which ushered in professionalism – to win four titles at Roland Garros.
After sealing victory in little over an hour, Swiatek celebrated by sinking to her knees before dancing around the court.
Congratulating Swiatek in her runners-up speech, Paolini said: “To play you here is the toughest challenge in this sport.
“It’s been an intense 15 days, and today was tough, but I’m really proud of myself.”
Swiatek dominance underlined in style and stats
Coming into the clay-court major, everyone wondered who could stop Swiatek winning the title again. Ultimately, nobody was able to provide an answer.
Along with her formidable history at Roland Garros she arrived in hot form, having already won prestigious WTA titles in Madrid and Rome.
Former world number one Naomi Osaka came closest to beating Swiatek, troubling her with powerful returning and holding a match point in their second-round encounter before the top seed recovered.
Since then it has been plain sailing for Swiatek.
A 40-minute ‘double bagel’ over Anastasia Potapova in the fourth round laid down a significant marker, before she dropped just two games against 2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova in the quarter-finals.
US Open champion Coco Gauff offered more resistance in the semi-finals before Swiatek asserted control against an opponent she has dominated in their previous meetings.
Few people gave Paolini hope of causing what would have been an almighty shock.
After a sloppy start, Swiatek found her rhythm, crushing Paolini in a devastating performance which showcased her ability and authority on the red dirt.
The statistics also underline it:

Swiatek has won 21 matches in a row at the French Open – the fourth-longest streak in women’s singles in the Open era
Swiatek has won 35 of her 37 career matches at Roland Garros
She has not lost in Paris since 2021
After saving match point against Osaka, Swiatek won 64 of 81 games on her way to the title
Only Chris Evert (seven), Steffi Graf (six) and Justine Henin (four) have won more French Open titles than the Pole
Swiatek dropped the fewest games in a French Open final since Henin beat Ana Ivanovic in 2007

Late-blooming Paolini wilts after confident start
Paolini’s run to the final has been the culmination of a fine season where she has registered several career milestones and climbed into the world’s top 10.
Pre-match odds on the 28-year-old causing an upset were about 11-1, but the underdog, who was well supported by a crowd containing lots of Italians, began confidently.
Looking unfazed, Paolini was able to use her forehand to good effect and there was a murmur of surprise around the stadium when she deservedly broke for a 2-1 lead.
But Swiatek, whose long miss on break point was illustrative of her lack of precision, instantly replied.
She broke straight back to love as Paolini could not consolidate, with the Italian handing over another break for 4-2 with a double fault.
From that point it was one-way traffic.
Paolini struggled to cope with Swiatek’s weight of shot and began to look overawed by her opponent, although she was boosted by a huge roar when she finally got on the board in a chastening second set.
While a clenched fist showed defiance, she must have known the match would soon be over, and Swiatek subsequently served out an emphatic victory.

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