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Swiatek Powers Past Gauff into Third Roland Garros Semifinal

Iga Swiatek of Poland swept Coco Gauff for her 12th straight Roland Garros victory. Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images

Coming face-to-face with Iga Swiatek at net, Coco Gauff took her crack at the champion.

Blasting a backhand drive right into the body, Gauff knocked Swiatek down to the dirt with a stinging body blow to earn break point in the second set.

Rising from the dirt, Swiatek responded with a flurry of forehands to knock Gauff right out of Roland Garros.

In a rematch of the 2022 final, Swiatek stormed through five of the last six games maintaining her mastery of Gauff 6-4, 6-2 to roll into her third Roland Garros semifinal.

Continuing her dirt dominance, Swiatek scored her 12th straight win in Paris raising her Roland Garros record to 26-2.

“I just feel after the match pretty satisfied with my game,” Swiatek told Tennis Channel’s Jon Wertheim afterward. “I’m pretty happy I was able to make it in two sets.

“In the first set, in the important moments, I was the one that was more solid so for sure it wasn’t easy especially with the wind today, but I’m happy I’m in the semifinal.”

The victory vaults Swiatek into tomorrow’s semifinals against Beatriz Haddad Maia, who made history as the first Brazilian woman in the Open Era to advance to the French Open semifinals with a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 win over Ons Jabeur.

The 14th-seeded Haddad Maia, who beat Sara Sorribes Tormo in a three hour, 51-minute fourth-round epic that was the longest WTA match of the year, defeated Swiatek in their lone prior meeting. Haddad Maia scored a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win over Swiatek at the 2022 Toronto on hard court.

The rematch carries ranking ramifications: Swiatek must reach her third Roland Garros final to retain world No. 1.

“For sure she’s the fighter, and she showed even today that she’s fighting until the last ball,” Swiatek said of Haddad Maia. “It pays off. For sure you have to kind of be ready even when you feel like you’re leading or whatever. You have to play every point 100%.

“We played in Toronto, and I would say actually this was one of the matches that had similar conditions in terms of the wind. It was also windy that day.

“Obviously surface is different, so we’ll see.”

I’ve never played against her on clay.Two-time champion Swiatek walked onto Court Chatrier knowing a loss today would be double defeat: if Gauff prevailed, Swiatek’s Roland Garros reign would end and she’d lose the world no. 1 ranking she’s held for 62 weeks to world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka.

On her clay comfort zone, Swiatek tormented Gauff’s forehand return winning 15 of 20 second-serve points and saving four of five break points in an 88-minute sweep.

It was Swiatek’s seventh win over Gauff in as many meetings as she’s swept all 14 sets they’ve played.

An oppressive Swiatek continues to squeeze the field. Swiatek has surrendered just 15 games in five tournament wins dishing out four bagels in nine sets she’s played in Paris.

The 19-year-old Gauff came out with a clear game plan: hit high loopy forehands down the line to the Swiatek flat backhand wing, force the mid-court reply and attack it.

“I think tactically it was a little bit different, but also, you know, the conditions because Coco I think used the wind a little bit more,” Swiatek said. “Last year I don’t think it was windy on the final, but I don’t really remember.

“Yeah, for sure it was more tight in the first set, so I’m pretty happy in those important moments I was the one that was solid and could put a little more pressure on Coco.”