1 of 5 | Iga Swiatek of Poland holds her trophy as she celebrates her victory against American Coco Gauff at the end of their final match at the French Tennis Open in Roland Garros near Paris on Saturday. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI | License Photo
June 4 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Iga Swiatek cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Cori "Coco" Gauff in the French Open women's final Saturday in Paris, capturing her second trophy at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.
With the victory, the 21-year-old Polish star extended her winning streak to 35 straight matches. Swiatek's unbeaten run dates back to February and equals one by Venus Williams in 2000 as the longest this century.
Swiatek, who became emotional during Poland's national anthem and again in the trophy ceremony, is the youngest two-time major champion since Maria Sharapova, who claimed her second major title at the 2006 U.S. Open while she was 19 years old.
"I just told Coco, 'Don't cry,'" said Swiatek, who also won the French Open in 2020 while still a teen and ranked outside the top 50. "And what am I doing right now?
"Two years ago, winning this title was something amazing. Honestly, I wouldn't expect it, ever. But this time, I feel like I worked hard and did everything to get here, even though it was pretty tough. The pressure was big."
Swiatek interrupted herself multiple times during her victory speech on Court Philippe Chatrier, at one point saying: "Oh, my God. It seems like I still need some experience." But she also collected her thoughts well enough to offer words of support to Ukraine, which Russia invaded earlier this year.
"Stay strong, because the world is still there," said Swiatek, who has been wearing a blue-and-yellow ribbon on her white cap during matches in support of Ukraine.
The final at Roland Garros lasted just one hour and eight minutes, with Swiatek breaking serve right from the get-go. She quickly went up 3-0 after only 15 minutes and conceded just one set in the opening frame.
Gauff, who was appearing in her first Grand Slam final at age 18, started the second set by breaking Swiatek for the one and only time, and then holding to push ahead 2-0.
Swiatek, however, adjusted and reasserted herself, breaking back for 2-all as Gauff continued to pile up miscues. By the end of the match, Gauff had more unforced errors, 23-16, and also fewer winners (14) than Swiatek (18).
Gauff hadn't dropped a set in the tournament and was averaging nearly six breaks per match entering Saturday's final, but she only earned one break point in the championship affair. Swiatek got 10 and converted half.
"The past couple months have truly been amazing and you totally deserve it," the 18th-seeded Gauff, now 0-3 against Swiatek, told her opponent. "Hopefully we can play each other in more finals, and maybe I can get a win on you one of these days."
Swiatek has won her past six tournaments and improved to 42-3 this season. She moved to the top of the WTA rankings after three-time major winner Ash Barty announced in March that she was retiring at age 25.
Rafael Nadal of Spain holds his trophy after his French Tennis Open's final match against Casper Ruud of Norway, at Roland Garros, outside Paris, France, on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Nadal won the title 6-3, 6-3, 6-0. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI | License Photo