Coco Gauff, 18, the youngest finalist at Roland Garros in two decades, whose striking sensibleness puts her sunshine smile to shade, will take on the rampaging world No.1 Iga Swiatek for the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.
Swiatek, 21, extended her winning streak to 34 matches in stopping the charge of Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals, the result leaving her one short of Venus Williams‘ 21st century record for successive wins.
Gauff, who had 14 winners in her 98-minute 6-3, 6-1last-four win over Italian Martina Trevisan, however, struck her firmest blow on Court Philippe Chatrier during her on-court interaction, reminding fans yet again that she was more than a tennis sensation.
“I think it’s not important to stress over a tennis match,” she said. “There’s so many things going on in the world right now, especially in the US.” Gauff didn’t leave room for doubt as to what she was trying to get across when she followed that up with a written message on the camera before leaving the court. “End gun violence,” she wrote.
Gauff, the No.18 seed, hasn’t dropped a set in her six wins to get to the final. The American then underlined that she wasn’t going to stress over the final. “I’m going to keep going regardless,” she said, “my parents will love me regardless.”
Gauff, who turned 18 in March, is the youngest player to reach the final in Paris since Kim Clijsters in 2001. She’s also the youngest finalist at any Grand Slam since a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova stormed to the Wimbledon title in 2004.
🎙️ “I feel like I’m playing better every match” — @iga_swiatek looks back at an impressive semi-final win today:#RolandGarros
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) 1654207200000
Swiatek, who has given the women’s game direction with her focus and determination, was delighted with the crowd support she received on Saturday as she ran Kasatkina corner to corner, playing deep and flirting with the lines.
“Being in the final again is great, especially when I didn’t know how I’m gonna play after so many tournaments,” Swiatek said of her streak. “It seemed obvious that the streak may come to an end soon. I just wanted to take it step-by-step. I didn’t have any exact goals in this tournament. And just seeing how my game is developing every match, it’s something that’s giving me a lot of hope. I’m just proud of myself.”
🎙️ “Today I think I played the best I could”No.18 @CocoGauff on reaching her first Grand Slam final at #RolandGarros
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) 1654201380000