Roland Garros: The rise of Gauff against the tyranny of Swiatek | Sports | The USA Print

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The top seeds fell from the first day, one by one until only the one with all the numbers to achieve it was left standing. There is no one to stop Iga Swiatek, who at 21 years of age stands as the best Ashigh Barty heiress. The Australian left a lot that the Polish has bravely taken over, incontestable this year, unbeatable since the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko beat her in Dubai on February 16. From there, the dictatorship. A sequence of 34 consecutive victories and a poster hanging on the women’s circuit: yes, Swiatek is looking for a rival. So far, she doesn’t have it.

The number one, champion of Roland Garros two years ago – without giving up a single partial on her way to the title – appears as the great favorite for the final that will be played this Saturday (3:00 p.m., Eurosport) against Coco Gauff, a newcomer in these parts . The American had never managed to get past the quarterfinals on a big stage, but she comes strong and unapologetic. “I think I have nothing to lose. I’m going to play with freedom, and in a final anything can happen; now, if I win, I don’t think my life will really change”, she said after beating Martina Trevisan in the semifinals.

It is tyranny against illusion, the gigantic wave of a player who cannot find a brake against the rise of a young woman who shattered Wimbledon history three years ago, when she entered the final table with 15; that is, she did what no one had done before. From then on, the United States observes her with a magnifying glass and she, 18 years old, learns to deal on the fly with the heavy inheritance of the Williams sisters, who little by little fade away and give her the baton.

“I think I’m ready to win a big one,” says Coco. “I have realized that I cannot get rid of expectations, so I have tried to accept it, to accept that they are there and that sometimes they can stress me more than necessary,” explains Swiatek about his formula, until now almost infallible, practically unapproachable in Warsaw, which listens to Led Zeppelin and Pearl Jam, Gorillaz and AC/DC; nothing of reggaeton neither trap and a platonic admiration for Rafael Nadal: “He inspires me in every way, on and off the court; he is humble and success has not changed him. Is awesome”.

Physical and complete, renewed and sharpened thanks to the incorporation of their new coach this year, Tomasz Witkorowski. From his hand, a more direct and sharp tennis, less contemplative. And above all victories, many victories; 34 consecutive and the titles of Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome. With the exception of Madrid, ruled out to relieve mind and legs, everything he has played during the spring has been won. She’s the undisputed favorite, but there’s Gauff and his first big-stage final appearance.

Between the two, the story of a swing: Roland Garros has enthroned eight different champions in the last ten editions. Only the Russian Maria Sharapova (2012 and 2014) and the What in Serena (2013 and 2015) repeated.

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