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French Open: Women's Final Review

Iga Swiatek continued her relentless domination on the WTA Tour this season on Saturday with a 6-1 6-3 defeat of Cori Gauff in the final of the French Open.

The 21-year-old Pole required only 68 minutes to see off Gauff, bringing up two Championship points as the thunder rumbled up above in Paris, where she won her first and only other Grand Slam title to date two years ago, defeating another American in Sofia Kenin.

Impressive form continues for Swiatek

There was a different feeling about this win to the one in 2020, though, as Swiatek is in the midst of an incredible breakthrough season.

By beating teenager Gauff, Swiatek recorded her 35th consecutive victory, equalling the longest winning streak on the WTA Tour this century.

As part of that extraordinary run, Swiatek has also won titles in Qatar, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome and she justified her label as world number one and top seed in the tournament this weekend.

The extent of her domination of the women's game is further highlighted by the fact she has also won 54 of her last 56 sets, having beaten every opponent bar Qinwen Zheng in straight sets in France.

And it was also her ninth consecutive win in the final of a tournament, showing she knows how to get the job done when the pressure is on.

Having swatted aside the likes of 11th seed Jessica Pegula and 20th seed Daria Kasatkina, Swiatek carried the weight of expectation going into the second Grand Slam final of the campaign.

But she cut a composed figure throughout the match and barely quivered when she fell behind in the second set to Gauff, who was playing in her first ever major final after dispatching the experienced Martina Trevisan in the semi-finals.

Unfortunately for the American, she could not hold her second-set lead and the nerves got the better of her.

Ultimately, though, this final feature two players who are likely to reach the very top and be key figures in the women's game for years to come. Gauff only turned 18 in March and Swiatek only turned 21 last month.

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Focus switches to Wimbledon

The big question regarding the irrepressible Swiatek is whether or not she can translate her formidable form on clay to the upcoming grass-court season.

The odds suggest she can with the Pole currently 7/4 to win the women's Wimbledon title. Naomi Osaka, who was a first-round casualty in Paris, is next in the Wimbledon betting at 11/2, while reigning US Open champion and promising Briton Emma Raducanu is 10/1.

Veteran Simona Halep is available at 12/1 and French Open finalist Gauff is 14/1.

Swiatek's best ever performance in London came last year when she made the fourth round but she has already shown this season that she is not the same player as she was in 2021, having also reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open at the start of the year.

Ashleigh Barty went all the way on that occasion but called time on her career shortly afterwards and Swiatek is the player who has since taken the WTA Tour by the scruff of its neck.

Her modesty once again shone through as she spoke following her French Open title but this is a player with plenty of skill at her disposal.

She performed well from the baseline in Paris once again but her athleticism is also superb and she works as much on her mental game as her physical, having developed a key relationship with psychologist Daria Abramowicz on tour.

Her defensive game should stand her in good stead at Wimbledon, where Gauff will also be looking to make an impact once again.

It was at Wimbledon in 2019 where Gauff announced herself, beating the legendary Venus Williams aged 15, and she has twice made the fourth round of the iconic Grand Slam.

It has not been an Earth-shattering season for the teenager but she has looked stronger with each tournament she has played in this year and will be worth keeping an eye on at Wimbledon, where the faster surface should better suit her style of play.

Given her winning streak and the nature of her recent results, Swiatek should not fear anyone at Wimbledon but last year's runner-up to Barty, Karolina Pliskova, will be another to watch.

Pliskova is 16/1 to go the distance at Wimbledon, having reached two Grand Slam finals in her career.

She has showed some promise on clay courts this term, making the last four of the WTA Strasbourg, and the change to grass should only help her on the tour.

Saturday, though, belonged to Swiatek, who shows no signs of stopping on the WTA Tour and will now have her sights set on two Grand Slams she has never previously won in the remainder of 2022.

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