Iga Swiatek continued her march to a second French Open title in three years when she demolished Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1 to reach the final and extend her winning streak to a breathtaking 34 on Thursday . The world number one conceded an early break but took advantage of Kasatkina’s string of unforced errors, peppering the Philippe Chatrier court with winners.
Poland’s Swiatek, the 2020 champion, hasn’t lost since February and matched Serena Williams’ winning streak in 2013, having dropped just two sets in her last four tournaments. She will meet either American teenager Coco Gauff, the 18th seed, or Italy’s Martina Trevisan in Saturday’s showdown.
Swiatek again played with a ribbon in the colors of the Ukrainian flag pinned to his hat against his Russian opponent.
Players from Russia and Belarus are allowed to compete at Roland Garros but will have to sit out Wimbledon as All England Club officials have banned competitors from both countries due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a ” special military operation”. Belarus was a key stage for the invasion.
“A pretty special moment. Yeah, I’m really moved. I’m so grateful to be here and you know, to be healthy and to be able to play my game. It’s amazing and I love playing here” , Swiatek said. .
“Right after my first year there was COVID and I wasn’t able to see how many Poles would come. It’s overwhelming. I try to treat every game the same. When I realize it’s is one of the biggest games of the season, it can stress me out.”
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Swiatek started with a double fault but held and broke in the second game, only for Kasatkina to pull 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 first set with a cross backhand return that left Kasatkina with her feet stuck on red dirt.
Swiatek, who is looking to become the fourth woman since 2000 – after Justine Henin, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova – to win the Suzanne Lenglen Cup twice, kept her foot on the gas to take the lead in the second set.
But Kasatkina, who had lost all three meetings in straight sets this season, stemmed the bleeding with a hold for 1-1. It was only brief relief for the world No. 20, who was pummeled by Swiatek’s precise and powerful forehands. The top seed won all of the remaining matches, allowing a desolate Kasatkina just nine points in the second set, and finished it with an ace.
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