Swiatek flees with the semi-final of Roland-Garros; winning streak at 34

By HOWARD FENDRICH

PARIS (PA) — Iga Swiatek, No. 1 reached his second French Open final and extended her winning streak to 34 games by defeating No. 20 Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 on a sunny and windy afternoon on Thursday.

Their semi-final was even 2-all after 20 minutes, before Swiatek used his powerful forehand, quick-striking ability and all-court excellence to take control with a five-game run. After 20th seed Kasatkina won one game, Swiatek won the last five.

She finished the match with 22 winners, more than double Kasatkina’s 10. And Swiatek was efficient too, limiting his unforced errors to 13.

In Saturday’s final, Swiatek will face either American Coco Gauff, 18, or Italy’s Martina Trevisan, 28. Their semi-final was scheduled for later Thursday.

Swiatek, who turned 21 on Tuesday, is a candidate for her second Grand Slam trophy. The other came to Roland Garros in 2020.

The men’s semi-finals are on Friday, with Rafael Nadal, 13 times Roland-Garros champion against No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic against No. 8 Casper Ruud.

Swiatek has won her last five tournaments, her last loss in February to 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. The only Polish player to win a major tennis singles title is now on a winning streak equal to that of Serena Williams in 2013. The single longest streak this century was a 35-match unbeaten streak against Venus Williams in 2000.

Thursday’s semi-final, played with temperatures hovering around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (about 25 degrees Celsius), was the fourth match between Swiatek and Kasatkina in 2022. Swiatek won each of the first three in straight sets while allowing Kasatkina to capture a grand total of just 11 games.

Those first three all came on hard courts. After winning her quarter-final, Kasatkina was asked if she felt better about challenging Swiatek on clay.

“Well, she’s good on hard, she’s good on clay, so it doesn’t matter. But I think for me it’s better to face her on clay. I now have ( had) a good run on clay, so I feel good here,” Kasatkina replied. “And let’s see. Let’s see. I’m not a Nostradamus. is fine if you can’t see it.

In this case, probably yes.

From 2-all, Kasatkina took 27 minutes to win another game. Swiatek ran away with the first set and then led 1-0 in the second, just as she did against 11th seed Jessica Pegula a day earlier in the quarter-finals.

Kasatkina, a Russian who will not be allowed to enter Wimbledon due to her country’s invasion of Ukraine, had not lost a single set at Roland Garros until Thursday.

But Swiatek has now won his last 13 competitions against top-20 opponents in the WTA rankings, dropping just one set along the way.

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