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Iga Świątek continues defense of French Open title with straight sets victory over American Coco Gauff | CNN

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CNN

Iga Świątek remains on course to retain her French Open title after easing past Coco Gauff 6-4 6-2 to reach the semifinals at Roland-Garros.

In a rematch of last year’s final, Świątek ultimately had too much quality for Gauff to handle as her relentless power and consistency eventually broke the American down.

Świątek has now beaten Gauff in all seven of their meetings on the WTA Tour, with the teenager yet to even take a set off the Polish world no. 1.

Up next for Świątek is Beatriz Haddad Maia, who earlier on Wednesday upset Ons Jabeur in three sets to become the first Brazilian woman to reach a grand slam semifinal in the Open Era.

“After the match, I feel pretty satisfied with my game,” a modest Świątek, who has now reached the semifinals in four of the last six grand slams, told the Tennis Channel.

“I’m happy that I was able to make it in two sets and in the first set, in important moments, I was more solid. It wasn’t easy, especially with the wind today, but I’m happy I’m through to the semifinal.”

Facing Świątek on clay must currently be one of the most daunting prospects in sport and the 22-year-old was once against in commanding, irresistible form against Gauff, in particular as she raced away in the second set.

Gauff kept pace with her opponent in the opening set as the pair exchanged early breaks of serve. However, the pressure soon told with Gauff serving at 4-5 to stay in the set as Świątek broke to love to take the lead in the match.

It proved to be the beginning of the end for Gauff, who was powerless to stop Świątek’s inevitable march to victory.

If there were any fans still betting against Świątek in Paris, that number will certainly be even smaller now.

Gauff has lost to Świątek in all seven of their meetings.

The three-time grand slam winner has dropped just 15 games – including a 5-1 walkover win against Lesia Tsurenko – during this run to the semifinals and is the overwhelming favorite to lift her third title at Roland-Garros.

Świątek, according to Opta, is the first player since Conchita Martinez in 1995 to reach the semifinals at the French Open having dropped 15 games or fewer.

World no. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, who plays Karolína Muchová in the semifinals on Thursday, undoubtedly has the weapons to hurt Świątek, but facing the Pole on clay – perhaps Sabalenka’s least favorite surface – is a different prospect entirely.

With many of her matches over so quickly – she has recorded four bagels so far this tournament – ​​Świątek has found herself with plenty of downtime in Paris.

So what does the defending champion do to pass the time and relax when she’s away from the court?

“Well, I finished watching Madam Secretary and right now I’m watching the second season of Ted Lasso, but it’s pretty short so I guess I’ll be done tomorrow,” Świątek joked.

It’s fair to say she might have enough time to finish a few more series before the tournament is over.

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