Iga Swiatek to meet Jasmine Paolini in French Open women’s final

Polish star Swiatek will be looking to make it three French Open titles in a row in Saturday’s final

Poland's Iga Swiatek celebrates winning match point against Coco Gauff during their women's singles semi-final match at the French Open. Photograph: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Defending champion Iga Świątek took a big step towards a third successive French Open title by dismantling teary American third seed Coco Gauff 6-2 6-4 in the semi-final on Thursday to match her longest winning streak on clay.

Four-times Grand Slam champion Świątek also extended her dominance over Gauff by sealing an 11th victory in 12 meetings and will head into a Saturday showdown with Italian12th seed Jasmine Paolini, who beat 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva 6-3 6-1 in the second semi-final.

Świątek drew first blood by breaking in the opening game of the contest after a forehand error by the ultra aggressive Gauff and the top-seeded Pole fought off break points in her next two service games before tightening her grip.

Having dropped the first set following an error, Gauff wiped away tears while up 2-1 in the second after an argument with the umpire over a contentious line call, but the US Open champion recovered to break her opponent for the first time.

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However, Świątek struck back immediately before holding and breaking to surge to a 4-3 lead with a powerful winner as a 20th straight victory at Roland Garros appeared in sight for the 23-year-old at her favourite hunting ground.

Soaking up the applause at a sun-drenched Court Philippe-Chatrier, Madrid and Rome champion Świątek secured victory on serve and equalled her 18-match winning streak on the sport’s slowest surface between Stuttgart and Warsaw in 2022.

Paolini crushed Russian teenager Andreeva 6-3 6-1 to continue Italy’s Roland Garros fairytale.

The diminutive 28-year-old is the first Italian player to reach the final on the Paris clay since doubles partner Sara Errani in 2012, and her resounding victory came two days after compatriot Jannik Sinner made it to the last four in the men’s draw, guaranteeing he would be world number one next week.

Andreeva, who had won her previous match against Paolini in Madrid in April, failed to make the most of the few opportunities she had, and made too many unforced errors to stand a chance in what was both players’ first appearance in a Grand Slam semi-final.

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