On the way to a hat-trick. Iga Swiatek climbed, Thursday, June 8, in the final of Roland-Garros for the third time in her career. The Polish, world number 1, beat the Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia in two sets (6-2, 7-6[9-7]) in the semi-finals.
The long-awaited meeting against her rival, the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, will not take place. Because the one who coveted her place at the top of the WTA ranking (the body that governs women’s tennis competitions) lost in the first semi-final, after a scenario with twists and turns spread over more than three hours. Thus, Iga Swiatek will face, on Saturday, in the final, a surprise guest: the Czech Karolina Muchova, only 43e world.
In the event of victory, the Pole could enter the closed circle of players who have won the French Open three times, with the Spaniard Arantxa Sanchez, the former Yugoslavian (who then represented the United States) Monica Seles or American Serena Williams. She is already the youngest player to reach her third final at Roland-Garros since Monica Seles between 1990 and 1992.
Iga Swiatek had activated the energy saving mode since the start of this edition of the Parisian Grand Slam tournament. Five hours and thirty-two minutes. This is the cumulative time spent by the Pole on the courts before her semi-final against the Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Confirmed number 1 position
For her part, the latter, seeded no 14 of the tournament, was already close to thirteen hours of play in five games. The first had lived a course of health, the second an obstacle course. But there was still enough fuel left in the Brazilian’s engine to constitute the best opposition of the world number 1 since the start of the tournament.
Beatriz Haddad Maia “Is left-handed and she played it, she knows how to put a lot of lifts but also play flat to be more aggressive. I’m happy to have been solid, especially in the tie-break.”said Iga Swiatek at the end of the match.
For the first time since the start of the fortnight, the world number 1 had to defend a set point at the end of this second extended round. It was in the decisive game, where the Brazilian – long held back by injuries and suspended in 2019 for involuntary doping – will have missed an opportunity to lead 6 points to 3 by missing a volley within reach.
THE « Bea, Bea! » chanted by the Brazilian supporters recognizable by their yellow jersey in the stands of the Philippe-Chatrier court then merged with the « Every, every! » of their Polish counterparts. After her victory, the world number 1 will thank them for their support in her native language.
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