Iga Swiatek Claims 3rd Consecutive Roland Garros Title with Victory over Paolini

Iga Swiatek has captured her third consecutive French Open title, her fourth overall at this tournament, and her fifth Grand Slam title.

The 23-year-old world No. 1 defeated an overmatched Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-1 to maintain her clay-court supremacy. When it comes to clay-court tennis, Iga Swiatek is solidifying her status as one of the greats, evoking comparisons to Rafael Nadal. 

Iga Swiatek Claims 3rd Consecutive Roland Garros Title with Victory over Paolini
Jasmine Paolini became Iga Swiatek's fourth straight-sets victim in her five Grand Slam finals (5-0). Photo Credit: Tennis.com

“Problem” is that she’s not making any effort to talk them out. The only way things will get easier is if Swiatek loses at Roland Garros, but the 23-year-old just defeated Grand Slam final rookie Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-1 to win her third straight Coupe Suzanne Lenglen and her fourth overall. “Aiming to create a legacy akin to Rafael Nadal here,” John McEnroe stated on NBC. “So far, everything is going well.”

Similar to Rafael Nadal, Swiatek is currently 4-0 in the Roland Garros finals. You also wonder if she has already faced her Robin Soderling, Maria Sakkari, who defeated the Pole in the 2021 quarterfinals, considering how at ease she is on the terre battue.

It is possible that you believe Iga is unbeatable, but that is probably not the case. However, when Naomi Osaka defeated Swiatek 5-2 in the third set (and had a 0-30 serve record), it seemed as though she was headed out of the competition back in the second round. Match point was awarded to Osaka in the following game. Swiatek avoided the upset by winning five straight games, and she hasn’t stopped going red since.

Will it prove to be the catalyst for her ascent to a fourth title in Paris? Regarding the Osaka escape, Steve Tignor inquired. In her last five games, Swiatek dropped just 17 games, which is the same number of games she lost overall against Osaka.

Paolini defeated Swiatek on clay with two victories in the opening four games, a remarkable feat. The 28-year-old at least created the sense that this could be a competitive final by trading service holds and breaks. On Friday night, Swiatek was listed as a -1400 moneyline favorite by sportsbooks—a ridiculously high line for a first-round match, let alone a major final.

The rest of the way, she never threatened Swiatek. Compared to Swiatek’s ten victories in the first set, the Italian Cinderella managed just three. While Paolini made 12 “forced errors,” the world No. 1 pushed her to make one fewer unforced error than Swiatek.

However, unlike Swiatek’s expanding trophy haul, the stats don’t fully capture her current level of supremacy. Any early-match anxiety vanished as Swiatek broke Paolini for a 4-2 first-set lead. With a love hold, Swiatek concluded the set. Highlight of Paolini’s second set? She did not stop at simply getting on the board; in a game she would eventually lose, she rallied from 15 to 40 to reach deuce.

Meanwhile, Swiatek’s highlights keep rolling in as he has now won three straight major clay-court events: Madrid, Rome, and Roland Garros.
At one point during the game, McEnroe asked, “Remind you of anyone?”
Just one individual.

Also Read: Rafael Nadal’s Tennis Career – A Glorious Journey: Tennis Updates 2024

From Rafa to Iga: A New Queen of Roland Garros Emerges

Jasmine Paolini captured the sentiment perfectly after her defeat in the Roland Garros final: “I never played a player that has this intensity before in my life.” The player in question? Iga Swiatek, the new Queen of Clay.

Iga Swiatek Claims 3rd Consecutive Roland Garros Title with Victory over Paolini
At Roland Garros, Iga has no competition—just like her idol had for a very long time. Photo Credit: AFP or licensors

At just 23 years old, Swiatek’s dominance on clay is becoming legendary. With four Roland Garros titles and a remarkable 35-2 record on the famed red courts, Swiatek is drawing inevitable comparisons to Rafael Nadal. This comparison seemed unthinkable until her recent 68-minute, 6-2, 6-1 dismantling of Paolini in the final.

Swiatek: Turning Competitive Matches into Routs

Swiatek’s ability to swiftly turn competitive matches into one-sided affairs is unparalleled. While Serena Williams often dominated the third set and Nadal would grind opponents down, Swiatek wastes no time. A single mistake by her opponent can quickly turn the tide in her favor, making her an intimidating presence on the court.

A Perfect Example: The 2024 Final

In the final against Paolini, the Italian started strong, saving a break point and even breaking Swiatek’s serve. Yet, at 1-2 in the first set, Swiatek’s relentless aggression surfaced. A forehand winner followed by a backhand return winner marked the beginning of the end for Paolini. Swiatek’s momentum was unstoppable, leading to a swift 6-2 first set.

The second set mirrored the first. Despite the crowd’s hopes for a competitive match, Swiatek’s dominance prevailed, leaving Paolini struggling to avoid a bagel. Paolini’s consolation was a single game win in the second set, a minor victory in an otherwise lopsided affair.

The New Standard in Clay-Court Tennis

Swiatek’s ability to neutralize Paolini’s first serve was critical. Paolini won only 39% of her first-serve points, equal to her success on second serves. Swiatek’s backhand return has become one of the most formidable weapons in women’s tennis, a fact underscored in this match.

“She’s playing unbelievable here,” Paolini remarked. “She’s taking the balls early, taking time [from] you, but also using rotation. She can defend really, really well. On clay, she’s unbelievable.”

Swiatek’s intensity, consistency, and heavy shot-making define her game. She combines aggression with precision, making just 13 errors throughout the match. Her ability to take the ball early and dictate play is reminiscent of the concept of Total Football – Swiatek plays what could be termed Total Tennis.

The Future of Roland Garros

As Rafael Nadal’s era at Roland Garros comes to a close, Iga Swiatek is stepping in to fill the void. Her relentless pursuit of perfection and unparalleled performance on clay courts signify the beginning of a new dynasty.

For more insights into Iga Swiatek’s journey and other tennis news, stay tuned to our blog and subscribe to our newsletter.

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