French Open women’s semi-finals: Swiatek beats Gauff, Paolini sweeps past Andreeva – as it happened

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Iga Swiatek in Saturday’s final. Which is an all-Polish final of sorts given that Paolini’s mother is of Polish descent. Not that Italy will be having any of that.French Open semi-finals in the men’s and women’s singles. Paolini says she’s been inspired by what Jannik Sinner has achieved this year … and the Italian renaissance has well and truly hit Paris because Paolini has three match points at 0-40! Paolini runs forward to the short ball – and completes the victory! No nerves there! The hugely likeable 28-year-old is into her first grand slam final having never been beyond the second round of a major before this year!

French Open final!

Swiatek* 6-2, 5-4 Gauff

Gauff sees Swiatek’s winner on the previous point and raises it with a winner of her own … advantage Gauff … but Gauff then hits beyond the baseline! Chris Evert reckons Swiatek is winning about three-quarters of the longer rallies. Gauff could do with a couple of quick points here. The next one is speedy – but it doesn’t end in her favour, because she nets. Advantage Swiatek, a second match point. Swiatek misdirects her forehand! Deuce. Advantage Gauff. GAME GAUFF! THIS MATCH ISN’T ENDING JUST YET!

Swiatek 6-2, 5-3 Gauff*

So Gauff must hold here to remain in this semi-final. It starts well for her. 15-0, 30-0. But then there’s a vicious forehand from Swiatek – Gauff has barely finished her swing when Swiatek takes the ball on the rise and cracks it back, giving Gauff absolutely no time to breathe – 30-15. 40-15, after a second uncharacteristic mis-hit in this game from Swiatek. 40-30. Again just as Gauff thinks she’s getting away, Swiatek reels her back in. Deuce.

That’s 35 unforced errors from Gauff now compared with Swiatek’s 12 – if you can call Gauff’s unforced errors given her formidable opponent. And a 36th of the affair gives Swiatek her first match point. The pair go down the middle, then cross-court, then down the middle, and Gauff saves her best until nearly last with a gutsy inside-out forehand winner! Deuce. Advantage Gauff courtesy of a stinging serve down the middle. Deuce, as the game reaches nearly eight minutes …

Swiatek 6-2, 5-3 Gauff*

That’s three games in a row for Swiatek, after Gauff had led 3-1, as the three-times champion restores order in her Philippe Chatrier kingdom. The King of Clay may be no more – but we’re watching the Queen of Clay here. Swiatek moves within a game of her third successive Roland Garros final when Gauff can only send her return into the net. Make that four games in a row.


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