Swiatek enters French Open showdown against Paolini as undisputed queen

After the joy of the unherladed, the fear. Will Grand Slam final debutante Jasminie Paolini freeze amid the bally-hoo and become another rapid victim of Iga Swiatek at the French Open? The omens do not favour the 28-year old Italian at all.

Paolini has lost both of their encounters and since Naomi Osaka failed to convert her match point in the second round against Swiatek, the 23-year-old Pole has emerged from the scare to click into snarling destructor mode piqued that her sheen of invincibility had been so scratched

Following her 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Osaka in just under three hours, Swiatek has spent around five hours going through Marie Bouzkova in the third round, Anastasia Potopova in the last-16, fifth seed Marketa Vondrousova in the quarters and third seed Coco Gauff in the semis. Potopova, her better in their junior days, was appraised of the contemporary disparity with a 6-0, 6-0 annihilation in 40 minutes. Swiatek lost 14 games in the four matches to reach the final.

"We played a long time ago," said Swiatek of her opponent in the Saturday afternoon showdown. "So I need to prepare tactically and see what her game is at now because for sure she's had the best season of her life so she must have changed something."


"I don't think there was a special moment when it changed," she said of her rise.

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