Iga Swiatek seals third French Open crown in row after thrashing Jasmine Paolini

Polish world No 1 ruthlessly disposes of Italian 12th seed 6-2, 6-2 securing fifth Grand Slam title and fourth at Roland Garros

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Ruthless world No 1 Iga Swiatek made it three French Open titles in a row on Saturday after thrashing Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2 at Roland Garros.

Swiatek has been in majestic form on the clay-courts of late and she carried over that momentum into the final, disposing of the Italian 12th seed in 68 minutes on Court Phillip-Cartier to secure her fifth major title – and fourth in five years at the Paris Grand Slam.

Paolini, whose previous best major run was reaching Round 4 of the Australian Open, simply could not live with Swiatek whose clinical performance means she has now won all five of the Grand Slam finals she has appeared in, also securing the US Open crown in 2022.

Since saving a match point against former world No 1 Naomi Osaka in Round 2, when she dropped her only set of the tournament, the 23-year-old won 64 of 82 games in five matches.

Swiatek has been victorious in her last 21 matches at Roland Garros and has a 35-2 win record, having not lost a match there since 2021, and has matched Monica Seles (1990–1992) and Justine Henin (2005–2007) in securing three titles on the bounce. Only Chris Evert (29), Seles (25) and Henin (24) have enjoyed longer winning streaks in the French capital.

The 23-year-old became the fourth woman – after Henin, Evert and Steffi Graff – to win four French Open titles in the Open era. Swiatek also joins Serena Williams as the only women to complete the clay-court treble of French, Madrid and Rome Open titles in the same year.

“It's amazing to be here. I love this place. I wait every year to come back,” said Swiatek, who clicked into top gear after saving a match point against Osaka. “I was almost out of the tournament. “I also needed to believe this one is going to be possible, it's been a really emotional tournament.

“Congrats for an amazing tournament. I'm really impressed with how you've [Paolini] been playing these last two weeks.

“I hope we'll have many more matches in final rounds. I want to thank my team, my family, without them I wouldn't be here. I want to thank everyone who made this tournament possible.”

For the 28-year-old Paolini it was a sorry conclusion to an otherwise brilliant two weeks in the French capital. The world No 15 had won a total of four matches in 16 Grand Slam appearances before her run in Melbourne at the start of the year.

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

While she fell short of emulating compatriot Francesca Schiavone, who won the 2010 French Open, Paolini could yet finish on a winning note with her and doubles partner Sara Errani through to Sunday's final.

“ Thanks for coming. I really enjoyed playing today. I have to say congratulations to you Iga,” said the 28-year-old on-court after her defeat.

“Playing you here is the toughest challenge in the sport. You are doing a great job – world No 1 and many Slams. I want to thank my team, my family, everyone who is cheering for me everyday. Congratulations to everyone who made this tournament special.

“The best days of my life I think. Tomorrow I have the doubles final. It's been a very intense 15 days and I'm really happy to be here.

“Today was tough but I'm really proud of myself anyway. You were cheering for me and that is unbelievable.”

Swiatek had set about her business quickly. She powered an ace to hold in the opening game and had Paolini back-pedalling down break point, but the Italian ground out a gutsy hold and then broke Swiatek when the Pole flayed a forehand long.

That triggered a searing riposte from Swiatek, who broke to love to get back on serve and then surged 4-2 in front after Paolini coughed up a costly double-fault.

Swiatek had her opponent constantly scurrying around the court and the errors began to stack up for Paolini, who conceded the first set with a weak groundstroke into the net.

With Swiatek firmly in the ascendancy, Paolini looked lost for answers as the top seed oozed confidence and repeatedly took control of the rallies.

Swiatek had difficulty putting away Karolina Muchova last year when heavily fancied, but there was no such trouble 12 months on as the Pole dismantled Paolini to underline her burgeoning status as the 'Queen of clay'.

Updated: June 08, 2024, 3:54 PM
ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2