Iga Swiatek Cruises Past Paolini To Clinch Fourth French Open Title - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Cruises Past Paolini To Clinch Fourth French Open Title

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Iga Swaitek has become the youngest woman for more than 30 years to win a third consecutive French Open title after thrashing underdog Jasmine Paolini in straight sets.

The world No.1 overcame a test early on in the match before storming to a 6-2, 6-1, victory in Paris. She has won the event for the fourth time in her career and is the first woman in French Open history to achieve this milestone before their 24th birthday. To put that into context, 14-time winner Rafael Nadal was the same age as Swiatek (who is currently 23) when he won his fourth trophy.

Saturday’s triumph saw Swiatek blast 18 winners as she capitalised on Paolini’s 18 unforced errors. At one stage, she won 10 games in a row in what was the most one-sided women’s final (based on number of games dropped) since 2007.

“It’s amazing to be here. I love this place. I wait every year to come back,” Swiatek said during the trophy ceremony.
“I was almost out of the tournament in the second round. Thank you (the crowd and fans) for staying behind me and cheering for me. I needed to believe it would be possible. It was an emotional tournament.”

The showdown on Court Phillippe Chartier was a clash of two very different worlds. Top seed Swaitek was playing in her fifth major final and had only dropped one set in the entire tournament, which was in the second round against former No.1 Naomi Osaka. In contrast, Paolini was playing in her first major final at the age of 28 and until this year had never made it beyond the second round in Paris. 

Despite being the heavy favourite in the clash, Swiatek did face a stern challenge early on against the heavy-hitting Italian who broke her three games into the final. Despite the blip, the Pole came back fighting straight away by breaking back to love before muscling her way through the opening set, winning five games in a row. Capitalising on a rapid rise in unforced errors made by Paolini, who hit the ball into the net to hand Swiatek a 6-2 lead. 

Continuing her dominance in the second frame, She continued to dismantle Paolini’s game on the court with more mistakes coming from the racket of the world No.15. After just 63 minutes of play, Swiatek was ready to serve for the victory. She worked her way to her first championship point after a Paolini forehand drifted long before closing the match out with a serve out wide that her rival returned out. 

“Congrats for an amazing tournament. I’m really impressed with how you’ve [Paolini] been playing these last two weeks,” the French Open champion commented. 
“I hope we’ll have many more matches in the final rounds. I want to thank my team, and my family, without them I wouldn’t be here. I want to thank everyone who made this tournament possible.”

There is also a silver lining for runner-up Paolini, who will make her top 10 debut in the PIF WTA rankings on Monday. Earlier in the tournament she knocked out fourth seed Elena Rybakina which was only her third win over a top-five player. She will return to action on Sunday in the doubles final alongside Sara Errani.

“I have to say congratulations to you Iga. Playing you here is the toughest challenge in the sport. You are doing a great job – world number and many slams,” said Paolini. 
“(These are) The best days of my life I think. Tomorrow I have the doubles final. It’s been a very intense 15 days and I’mreally happy to be here. 
“Today was tough but I’m really proud of myself anyway.”

Swiatek is the youngest player to win three consecutive titles at Roland Garros since Monica Seles between 1990-1992. She is also the first WTA player to win the same major event three times in a row since Serena Williams (US Open 2012-2014).

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities

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A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.

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Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.

IGA WAS JUST TOO GOOD

Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.

WINNING 10 CONSECUTIVE GAMES

The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.

SWIATEK OWNS THE RED CLAY

No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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