Swiatek dismantles Paolini to claim Grand Slam title

09 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Swiatek dismantles Paolini to claim Grand Slam title Iga Swiatek

The Sunday Mail

Iga SWIATEK strengthened her reputation as the queen of clay by capturing a third straight French Open crown with a crushing 6-2 6-1 victory over 12th seed Jasmine Paolini  yesterday to claim her fifth Grand Slam title.

Swiatek’s 21st straight victory at her happiest hunting ground put her in fourth place on the list of longest winning streaks at Roland Garros in the Open era, behind only Chris Evert (29), Monica Seles (25) and Justine Henin (24).

The 23-year-old, who arrived in Paris in the form of her life, having lifted titles in Madrid and Rome, extended her run of victories on clay this year to a career-best 19 matches and celebrated with her fourth French Open title in five years. Swiatek came out all guns blazing early in the contest but after narrowly missing the chance to break from 0-40 down in the second game, the top-seeded Pole made heavy weather of the next to surrender her serve, before bouncing right back.

The diminutive Paolini, only the third Italian woman after Francesca Schiavone and Sara Errani to reach the Roland Garros final since the sport turned professional in 1968, went toe to toe with Swiatek from there but cracked in the sixth game.

With the momentum shifting, claycourt specialist Swiatek began to dominate the exchanges from the baseline, superbly working the angles and sealing the opening set in 37 minutes after winning 20 out of 24 points since going down a break.

A shell-shocked Paolini smiled and soaked up the support and applause from the crowd on the main show court when she won the odd point early in the next set, but her challenge faded in the afternoon sun as Swiatek broke twice to build a 4-0 lead.

Swiatek, who dropped only one set throughout the tournament in a second-round epic with Naomi Osaka, won 10 successive games before Paolini got on the scoreboard, but there was to be no late comeback drama and the knockout blow was not long in coming. — Reuters

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