French Open: Swiatek beats Gauff, continues hot streak to storm into third final in a row

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Paris, June 6 (IANS) World No.1 and top seed Iga Swiatek moved into a third straight and fourth overall final at the French Open, beating American Coco Gauff in straight sets in the semifinals at Court Philippe-Chatier here on Thursday. Poland's Swiatek, a three-time former French Open champion, stormed into the final with a straight sets defeat of her third-seeded rival, winning 6-2, 6-4 to move into Saturday's final.

Under bright skies on Court Philippe Chatier, Swiatek took 1 hour and 37 minutes to get past American Gauff for the 11th time in their 12 career meetings. She is the third player since 2000 to make three consecutive French Open women's singles finals, joining Justine Henin (2005-2007) and Maria Sharapova (2012-2014).

After a comfortable opening set in which she broke her opponent's service in the first and fifth games, Swiatek trailed 3-1 in the second only to win five of the last six games including a crucial break in the seventh game with a forehand winner as she closed in onto victory.

The Pole will face either Italy’s Jasmine Paolini or Mirra Andreeva in the final as she hopes to win her fifth French Open women's singles title.

By defeating Gauff in the semifinal on Thursday, Swiatek has won 20 straight matches at the tournament, making her only the fifth woman in the Open Era to achieve this feat at Roland Garros. She joins Chris Evert (29 straight, 1984-1991), Monica Seles (25, 1990-1996), Justine Henin (24, 2005-2010), and Stefanie Graf (20, 1987-1989).

The 23-year-old Swiatek is also the second-youngest player in the Open Era to make four French Open finals, older only than Steffi Graf, who was 20 when she made her fourth Roland Garros final in 1990.

Swiatek is also amid another lengthy clay-court winning streak, having now won 18 straight matches on the surface. This current run ties her longest winning streak on clay, which was 18 straight between Stuttgart and Warsaw in 2022.