World No.1 Iga Swiatek capped off her flawless clay-court season Saturday with her second Grand Slam title, defeating No.18 seed Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3 to win the Roland Garros singles crown.
Two years ago, Swiatek shocked the field by winning her first Roland Garros title as an unseeded teenager. This time, Swiatek took her second French Open title by winning her 35th consecutive match, tying Venus Williams for the best winning streak this century.
"I'm more aware of how it is to win a Grand Slam and what it takes and how every puzzle has to come together and basically every aspect of the game has to work," Swiatek said, comparing her new title to the one she clinched in 2020.
"With that awareness, I was even more happy and even more proud of myself, because in 2020 it was all, I just felt that I'm lucky, you know. This time I felt like I really did the work."
Follow all the ATP and WTA Tour action!
Follow the latest from the action live! ATP WTA Live features real-time updates, scores and stats, and behind-the-scenes content...
Standard of excellence: Poland’s Swiatek needed 1 hour and 8 minutes to overcome first-time Grand Slam singles finalist Gauff of the United States and match Venus Williams’ run of 35 straight victories in 2000.
Spectacular as it was, Iga Swiatek did what we all expected her to do
Swiatek becomes only the 10th woman to win multiple Roland Garros singles titles in the Open Era (since 1968). Having just turned 21 on Tuesday, Swiatek is the fourth youngest player to triumph more than once in Paris -- only Monica Seles, Stefanie Graf, and Chris Evert were younger.
Swiatek is also the youngest woman to win multiple majors since Maria Sharapova won her second Grand Slam title aged 19 at the 2006 US Open.
Polish Perfection in Paris 🇵🇱🏆#RolandGarros | @iga_swiatek pic.twitter.com/hYR9OR6xYH— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 4, 2022
Swiatek’s latest triumph is her sixth title of the year, all coming in a row during her winning streak (following Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome). She is the first player to win six titles in a row since Justine Henin in 2007 and 2008.
Looking ahead, if Swiatek can win her next match, she will hold the best winning streak of the century alone and tie Monica Seles’ run of 36 straight victories from 1990. Another victory after that would tie Martina Hingis’ 37-match winning streak from 1997.
Twitter takeover: Relive Swiatek's winning French Open performance
Another commanding final: Swiatek continued a pattern of dominance when she reaches championship matches. In her last nine finals, she has dropped a total of 32 games -- an average of three-and-a-half games lost per final.
Reunited with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen 😚🏆@iga_swiatek 🙌 #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/yajqMnPYNJ— wta (@WTA) June 4, 2022
Gauff, the third-youngest player to reach a Grand Slam singles final this century at 18 years and 84 days old, made a valiant effort in her first major final, collecting enough games to just surpass that average.
However, Swiatek was too tough at key moments, converting five of 10 break points and claiming 60 percent of points off of the Gauff second service.
"I try to treat [a final] as any other match, which is pretty hard and kind of not possible, because there are always going to be a bigger amount of stress," Swiatek said.
"You have a feeling that the tournament is coming to an end and this is the last match, so it would be nice to just finish it properly. But I guess I'm kind of accepting that a little bit more and I try to lean on the strengths and the things that I have."
🧡@iga_swiatek I #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/Y7UTmzzTMt— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 4, 2022
Swiatek cracked the match open after a lengthy third game, when she converted her fifth break point to take a double-break lead. At 5-1, a stirring backhand return winner forced an error from Gauff on set point, giving Swiatek her third break of the day.
Gauff created some intrigue right away in the second set, drawing errors from the top seed as she earned her only break of the match en route to 2-0. However, Swiatek regrouped, finding sterling returns to get back on track and win the next five games successively.
Gauff gritted out a tough hold for 5-3, forcing Swiatek to serve for the championship, but the World No.1 was up to the task, as she has been all season. On the first championship point, Gauff sent a service return long, and Swiatek grasped her second Grand Slam trophy.