They knock, and quietly so. No wind in Philippe Chatrier, we are told, but who is in favor? The largest server possible, making it Swiatek. Gauff is the youngest finalist in a slam since Sharpova in 2004.
The players go to court, Coco Gauff coming out first to many cheers. Swiatek’s applause may be a little louder. Mat Wilander in the Eurosport broadcast suggests that Gauff should focus on tennis, rather than “life”, which could be read as a kick against her activism. It certainly felt that way.
It’s the men’s final tomorrow, and Nadal will go for the fourteenth, his 14th, though perhaps a little lucky after the injury of Sasha Zverev yesterday. Casper Ruud took his time to beat Marin Cilic but later did the job.
The craze is growing in Paris, and so is the heat. It’s 28 degrees.
Swiatek won this title in 2020, the Roland Garros event postponed until October of that year due to the pandemic. This was her first tour title, she has added seven since, five this year.
Some quotes from Swiatek via the official Roland Garros website.
“Being able to be in the final again is great, especially when I didn’t really know how I was going to play here after so many tournaments I’ve played,” said Swiatek, who is looking to become the first woman to collect. six consecutive titles since Justine Henin in 2007-08 this weekend.
“It seemed a little obvious to me that the strip might end soon. So I just wanted to take it one step at a time. I did not have precise goals in this tournament. Just seeing my game evolve every game is something that gives me a lot of hope, and I’m just proud of myself. “
Caira Conner profiles Coco Gauffa young athlete looking far beyond the end of her racket.
She is among a budding cohort of athletes who use time in front of reporters to talk about things that have little to do with the rackets or balls in their hands. In tennis, a sport where players may more publicly avoid the complexities of social consciousness because of the simplicity of hard work, Gauff is clear about his choice: “I’m human first.”
“Since I was younger, my father told me I could change the world with my racket,” said Gauff, who cited LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick, Naomi Osaka and Billie Jean King among her role models in athletic activism. “He didn’t mean that by just playing tennis. He intended to talk about such things. The first thing my father said to me after I came out of court was I was proud of you and I love what you wrote on the camera. “
Tumaini Carayol deep-dove in Iga Swiatek.
Swiatek’s 34-match winning streak is remarkable in itself, the combined second-highest of the 21st century along with Serena Williams and one behind Venus Williams’ 35 count in 2000. While the others faced tougher rivals, the circumstances are particularly awkward due to its timing. . Arriving at the French Open with all her 28 wins at WTA tournaments seemed such an extra burden that some believed that a loss in Rome might have helped her manage the pressure.
As she sailed the draw, Swiatek handled the occasion in different ways. She talked about the value of keeping expectations low, taking things day after day, even though her ambitions make it so difficult. She was sincere about the possible outcomes here, including the fact that losing is an option to be prepared for, one that would not be a tragedy.
The whole finale we have about Philippe Chatrier today, a battle between an irresistible force in Iga Swiatek and an irresistible charm in Coco Gauff. It is also a battle between two members of the younger generation on the women’s tour. Swiatek, the champion of the French Open in 2020, while Gauff is still only 18 years old, charmed the tennis world in 2018 with his Wimbledon race. It’s her first grand slam final, though she also reached the women’s doubles final this year at Roland Garros. To win the French title, Gauff must beat a player in a 34-match winning streak, going for a sixth title in a row, and therefore reverse the odds, though she still has to drop a set this year in Paris. This could be a classic, and one has to expect three sets of tennis.
We start at 2pm UK.