Treble-chasing Swiatek bids to extend French Open reign

Treble-chasing Swiatek bids to extend French Open reign

Iga Swiatek goes into Saturday’s French Open final as the overwhelming favourite in her quest for a third successive Roland Garros title against surprise challenger Jasmine Paolini of Italy.

Swiatek, the world No 1 from Poland, is attempting to become the fourth woman in the Open era to lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen four times – after Justine Henin, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf.

Only two have won the French Open three years in a row – Henin (2005-07) and Monica Seles (1990-92) – but Swiatek’s supremacy on the clay in Paris has attracted comparisons with Rafael Nadal, winner of 14 men’s titles and who holds a 112-4 record at Roland Garros.

“We’ll see in 14 years if the journey is similar. That’s obviously really nice for me,” said Swiatek.

“I would never expect anybody to compare me to Rafa because for me he’s above everybody, and he’s a total legend.

“We’ll see in couple of years, but I’m proud of myself that I’m playing consistently here and that I’m mentioned in the same sentence as Rafa. That’s cool.”

The 23-year-old Swiatek has won all four of her previous Grand Slam finals and will bid to extend that run against Paolini.

Swiatek has won both her previous meetings with 12th seed Paolini, although the last of those was at the 2022 US Open and the Italian is enjoying by far the best year of her career.

Paolini, 28, will be appearing in her first Grand Slam final after defeating Russian 17-year-old sensation Mirra Andreeva in the last four. That came after she knocked out former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, the only player to beat Swiatek on clay this season.


Source link: Daily Trust/

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