Iga Swiatek v Jasmine Paolini 2024 French Open Roland Garros Women's Final Preview: Can Queen of Clay continue reign?

Saturday, 08 June 2024 at 11:15
The 2024 French Open final is set to take place on Saturday 8 June on the women's side with Iga Swiatek set to face off against Jasmine Paolini for the latest Grand Slam title. An unheralded star taking on the Queen of Clay in what could be a real rout or a tough assignment for Swiatek.
Our preview looks ahead to the final with a look back at their respective runs to the final as we will either crown a new champion or a four-time winner who will enter the annuls of history.

Prolific Paolini continues breakout season with remarkable run

Jasmine Paolini is a player who has continued to improve year after year and from top 100 to top 50 to top 30, she is now a top 10 player at least going into the grass court season.
At the age of 28, she could make it double joy for Italy if at the time of writing, Jannik Sinner manages to come through his semi-final clash and reach the final. A player who has taken the racquet out of the hands of the likes of Elena Rybakina and Mirra Andreeva in the latter half of the tournament. Despite having a quite diminutive frame, she has managed to out power two players with pretty impressive power. Iga Swiatek is more of a methodical player who likes to force the place and find the angles on the court. So it could be a recipe for disaster or the opposite for Paolini who certainly has the athleticism to not just rely on power.
But it has also been a tournament where she nearly lost multiple times. Bianca Andreescu in particular will think what could've been purely due to the weather. She was made to play as was Paolini in torrential downpours earlier this tournament as the only match which continued.
Also against Elina Avanesyan, she lost the first set fairly lopsided against the Russian. But returned to lose only one more game in the whole contest winning it 6-4, 0-6, 1-6. Then she defeated Elena Rybakina and Mirra Andreeva back-to-back. The prior win saw her win 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Some remarked that Rybakina wasn't herself, but also it was an epic display from Paolini. She showed that it was no fluke against Andreeva. Despite now being a top ten player, Paolini was not the favourite for this clash as she hasn't been for most of her latter stage matches.
But she seems to relish being the underdog as she wiped out Andreeva 6-3, 6-1 in a performance best described as a woman vs a child. Andreeva came so far reaching her first Grand Slam semi-final as a 17-year-old in perhaps the big story of the women's draw. But Paolini stole the spotlight and headlines. Can she do it again tomorrow though?
A winner in Dubai earlier this season for her biggest title of her career thus far, she had a pretty poor clay court season up until this juncture. But turned it around on the biggest stage of all. She could walk away with at least one title from it all with Paolini teaming with Sara Errani in the women's doubles final. So it could yet be two trophies being hoisted before the end of the weekend. Or it could be none, such is the way with tennis.

Sublime Swiatek utterly flawless aside from one match in Paris

Whilst Iga Swiatek on the other hand has continued on from where she has left off all clay court season. The World No.1 has been utterly flawless all tournament as she was basically in Rome and Madrid.
The only blot on her copybook has been Stuttgart where Elena Rybakina won the title. But in reality, it doesn't mean much when the World No.1 shows up during a clay court major and is rampant against the competition. The only aspect that may discern Swiatek is likely expecting to face Sabalenka, Rybakina or Andreeva who all fell by the wayside in the latter stages.
Paolini out of those left was not the player expected and not likely one that Swiatek's team have done a lot of preparation on. Such has been her expert run. But Swiatek has barely lost a game all tournament and only struggled in one match. In reality, the tournament would've been a completely different complexion had Naomi Osaka took her down during the second round earlier in the piece.
She had a match point and as ever champions who rally and win through often don't get troubled again and that has been the route through for Swiatek. She saw off Marie Bouzkova next round in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. Before going on a 20 game unbeaten run to find herself into the semi-finals. She thrashed Anastasia Potapova in 39 minutes and also made light work of former finalist and fifth seed Marketa Vondrousova who despite her stature in the game looked like a rabbit in the headlights. The same can be said for Coco Gauff who has always struggled when it has come to the World No.1. She holds an 11-1 deficit and was well beaten 6-2, 6-4.
Whilst Jasmine Paolini had never been beyond a second round at a major tournament until this season, it could be a fifth major title for Swiatek who has won three Roland Garros titles before and could claim a fourth to bring herself into the annuls of history alongside other four time champions. She has not lost in 20 successive matches in this tournament and only Barbora Krejcikova has snapped her dominance since her emergence.
They have only played once though with Swiatek thrashing Paolini 6-3, 6-0 at the 2022 US Open and on paper, a similar scoreline could be expected. But also for some, there will be value in thinking that Paolini could spring a shock given her exploits over the past two weeks. It is uncharted territory for the Italian which makes it fascinating. Whilst Swiatek usually rises to the occasion especially at this tournament. A fourth Roland Garros title will be expected but as we know with tennis, anything can and will surely happen.

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