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Swiatek and Paolini will compete for the title at the French Open

Swiatek defeated Coco Gauff in two sets while Paolini beat Mirra Andreeva.

La tenista polaca Iga Swiatek, durante las semifinales de Roland Garros 2024.

(Cordon Press)

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(AFP) The great favorite, Polish player Iga Swiatek, and the surprising Italian contender Jasmine Paolini, secured victories in the women's semifinals of the French Open this Thursday. Swiatek, ranked number 1 and Paolini, ranked 15, will face off in the final on Saturday.

Swiatek is hoping to take home her fourth title in Paris, having previously won in 2020, 2022 and 2023. She advanced to her fourth final at the Philippe Chatrier after beating American player Coco Gauff, currently ranked third in the world, without relative ease, 6-2, 6-4.

Earlier, in a match between two tennis players who had an impressive performance in the quarterfinals, Paolini beat 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva from Russia 6-3 and 6-1. Andreeva is coached by former Spanish player Conchita Martínez.

Early ending

With Aryna Sabalenka eliminated in the quarterfinals, the battle between Swiatek and Gauff seemed like an early final in this tournament.

The 20-year-old American, who at the end of the tournament will rise to number 2 in the ranking, had no chance (6-2, 6-4) against Swiatek. She may become the first player since Serena Williams in 2013 to win titles in Madrid, Rome and Paris, the three major tournaments of the season.

This year's French Open has so far been a walk in the park for Swiatek except for one match. In the second round against former world number 1 Naomi Osaka from Japan, Swiatek was on the verge of elimination and even had to save a match point.

This time, Swiatek lost only six games to Gauff, last year's U.S. Open champion and an opponent she excels against, having now beaten her in 11 of their 12 matches. One of them was in the 2022 French Open final, where Swiatek won decisively 6-1, 6-3.

"For sure it was intense. In the second set it was kind of tight because we were breaking each other, but I’m happy that I was consistent with my tactics – I didn’t overthink stuff and I just went for it at the end," said Swiatek.

On the fast track

If the first semi-final lacked excitement, the second one was even more one-sided. Jasmine Paolini defeated 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva in just one hour and thirteen minutes, with a score of 6-3 and 6-1.

Paolini, born 28 years ago in Tuscany, had never made it past the second round at the French Open. Now, she hopes to become the second Italian tennis player in history to take home a tournament title. Francesca Schiavone took home Italy's first title in 2010.

"I learned a little bit later than other players. To dream is the most important thing in sport and in life. I'm happy that I can be in this dream moment," said Paolini, who is also in the semifinals in the women's doubles tournament with Sara Errani.

She did not lose any games on her serve. Her three breaks against Andreeva, who struggled at times, did the rest.