Swiatek highlights Osaka win as turning point with fourth French Open title within touching distance

By Sports Desk June 06, 2024

Iga Swiatek believes her victory over Naomi Osaka helped her adjust to Roland-Garros as she reached the final of the French Open following victory over Coco Gauff. 

The world number one saved a match point against Osaka in the second round of the competition, pulling off a comeback to triumph 7-6 (7-1) 1-6 7-5 on Court Philippe-Chatrier. 

Swiatek saved a match point against the former world number one, and from 5-2 down in the deciding set, it was the Pole who prevailed.

Since then, the 23-year-old has lost just 14 games across the next four rounds and is one match away from becoming the first woman to win the tournament in three straight years since Justine Henin in 2007. 

And she credited that win over Osaka as the turning point in her latest French Open campaign.

"Something changed [after the Osaka match]," Swiatek said after beating Andreeva.

"I adjusted better to the court, and it’s not easy to play first matches in a grand slam because the atmosphere is much different in other tournaments.

"Against Naomi, I didn’t have time to get into it. She was intense from the beginning and put pressure on me. I'm happy that I handled it well. The weather changed also; it helped my game and I gained confidence."

Reflecting on a dominant 6-2 6-4 defeat of reigning US Open champion Gauff, Swiatek said: "It was intense.

"In the second set, it was tight because we were breaking each other. But I'm happy that I was consistent with my tactics, didn't overthink stuff, and just went for it at the end."

Swiatek and Gauff have now faced off 12 times, but the American has won just one of those matches. 

"I think [Gauff] is progressing a lot," Swiatek added.

"You can see by her results. Last year’s US Open showed that she's tough. At this age, it's obvious that she's going to grow. It's nice to see her handling everything around her well because it’s not easy. 

"I'm sure we're going to have more really intense matches at the highest level because Coco is also one of the most consistent players out there."

Swiatek will face Jasmine Paolini in Saturday's final.

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