Swiatek Wins Second Roland Garros Crown With All The Right Stuff

Iga Swiatek (photo: Roland Garros video)

PARIS/WASHINGTON, June 4, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

Iga Swiatek played like a World No. 1 and top seed are supposed to play. She exuded equal parts power and grace, confidence and poise. It all added up to the right stuff. Her dominance on the famed Roland Garros red clay was on display for Paris to see and enjoy and for a worldwide television audience to appreciate.

On Saturday, the 21-year-old Polish star from Warsaw dominated her 18-year-old opponent, American teen Coco Gauff, from start to finish on Court Philippe-Chatrier. She even beat the rain that soon followed. Swiatek won her second Roland Garros title in three years with a 6-1, 6-3 victory that was lasted barely over an hour – an hour and eight minutes to be exact – but it was plenty of time to get the job done. It was a comprehensive title triumph and it solidified her standing as the dominant player of women’s tennis.

After Swiatek secured match point, she raced into the stands to share a group hug with her team: father Tomasz, coach Tomasz Wiktorowski and psychologist Daria Abramowicz. In contrast, Gauff sat quietly with a towel draped over her head crying more than just a few tears of disappointment.

Now, Swiatek has won her second French Open title and second major crown overall. It was also her 35th straight match victory, which tied Venus Williams for most consecutive wins on the WTA Tour since 2000 and is eighth most all-time. It was also her sixth consecutive tournament triumph.

“I want to thank my team,” Swiatek said during the trophy ceremony, with the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen trophy by her side. “Without you I wouldn’t be here. I’m sure of that. I’m pretty happy that every piece has finally come together. You are working hard, I am working hard. We all deserve to be here. …

“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.

“What you have done on the tour the last couple months is really amazing,” Gauff said to Swiatek in accepting her runner-up trophy.

From the outset, Swiatek jumped out to a double-break 4-0 lead after 20 minutes, taking advantage of a double fault and 11 unforced errors by Gauff, who struggled in her service games. The 18-year-old American, who won just 40 percent of her first-serve points in the first set, didn’t hold her serve for the first time until the fifth game, but not before she added to her unforced error tally.

Meanwhile, Swiatek exuded a calm and steady demeanor and went about the business of winning confidently. She captured the first set 6-1 in 35 minutes in back of the trio of service breaks. Swiatek hit eight winners and made only eight unforced errors, while Gauff’s seven winners were overshadowed by 14 unforced errors, including nine from her forehand side. By the end, Swiatek would finish with 18 winners to 16 unforced errors, while Gauff would finish with 23 unforced errors to just 14 winners.

Soon, Gauff came to life and gained some much-needed confidence. She broke Swiatek in the opening game of the second set, consolidated it with her first service ace, and shook things up a bit with a 2-0 lead over the top seed. However, Swiatek rebounded with a pair of quick holds and her fourth break of Gauff to pull ahead 3-2.

Then, shortly before the match clock reached the one-hour mark, Swiatek broke Gauff for the fifth time in 10 tries and took a commanding 4-2 lead.

Was there anything that Gauff could do to fight off Swiatek’s domination? Not really, but she didn’t stop trying and there’s nothing for her to feel bad about. Gauff simply was losing to a player who is on a big roll of excellence. Swiatek would go on to outpoint Gauff 62-39.

Next, Swiatek held with a solid backhand winner to move to within one game of winning her second French Open and second major crown. After Gauff held serve, it was time for Swiatek to finish what she started when the Paris fortnight began two weeks ago. She promptly won on her first match-point opportunity when Gauff erred long off one last return.

In 2020, when Swiatek won Roland Garros for the first time, she was the lowest-ranked player (at No. 54) to capture the French title. What a difference a few years has made.

“It’s a big difference,” Swiatek said in an interview with NBC’s Maria Taylor after the trophy ceremony. “I feel like two years ago, I was pretty lucky. This time, I felt the pressure, I felt the baggage on my shoulders because I wasn’t the underdog anymore. I’m proud I could do it for a second time.”

Indeed, what a difference a few years has made. Lessons learned.

Arevalo and Rojer rally to win first major title together 

Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador jumped for joy after he became the first Grand Slam men’s doubles champion from Central America. Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands wept because at age 40, his dream of winning a French Open doubles title and a major with Arevalo had been realized.

Saturday evening under a closed Philippe-Chatrier roof and with a considerably smaller crowd than the one that witnessed the earlier women’s singles title match between Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff, Arevalo, 31, and Rojer, together the 12th seeds who live and train in Miami, Fla., saved three second-set championship points during a 16-point 12th game and went on to beat Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Austin Krajicek of the United States, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-3, in three hours and one minute to win the French Open men’s doubles final.

During the championship match, Arevalo and Rojer saved all 10 break points they faced and converted their only break point chance against their opponents. They combined to hit 56 winners.

The title victory, which improved their 2022 win-loss record to 24-10, was the first major for Arevalo and Rojer as a team and their third ATP Tour title of the season. Rojer had previous won two majors with Romania’s Horia Tecau at Wimbledon in 2015 and at the US Open in 2017.

“I am really proud,” Rojer said during the trophy ceremony. “I know I am getting older and it makes these moments much more special because you don’t know how many more times you have left to play on such beautiful courts. I am extremely, extremely grateful.”

“I want to congratulate Ivan and Austin, this was an amazing battle,” Arevalo added. “You guys are amazing opponents… I feel we are super lucky to win the title today. I want to thank everyone inside the stadium, it was amazing. You guys made our moment precious. Thank you Roland Garros and Paris for this.”

Around Roland-Garros


• No. 14 seed Gabriel Debru of France won the French Open junior boys’ title over Gilles Arnaud Bailly of Belgium, 7-6 (5), 6-3. The 16-year-old Debru, who became the 14th French player to win the boys’ title, hit 30 winners to 42 unforced errors and broke Bailly four times in 13 tries during the two-hour and one-minute title match on Court Simonne-Matthieu.

Along with last year’s winner, Luca van Assche, France has won back-to-back boys’ titles at Roland Garros for the first time since 1974-75. Debru is the latest in a long list of French boys’ champions, including: Gaël Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Paul-Henri Mathieu and Henri Leconte.

“This is good success,” Debru said in a post-match press conference. “Because I put in a lot of work in that, since I was really young. I was dreaming of that when I was five.

“Now I will try and win the same titles when I play pro, and I will do my best. It’s incredible to share this with my friends, my family, my parents. It’s a big title. I will continue and work so that I can have even bigger titles.”

• No. 9 seed Lucie Havlickova of the Czech Republic began the fifth Czech to win the French Open junior girls’ singles title. The junior world No. 9 defeated Solana Sierra of Argentina, 6-3, 6-3, on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

The 17-year-old Havlickova triumph gave the Czech Republic back-to-back girls’ titles. Last year, Linda Noskova ended a 43-year drought for Czech girls.

“I’m still processing the emotions. It’s a lot to process,” Havlickova said, quoted by the Roland Garros website. “But I feel amazing, even though I spent a million hours here on the court because I played every time three sets except today. I feel amazing.”

Havlickova also competed in the girls’ doubles final teamed with fellow Czech Sara Bejlek and won the title over Nikola Bartunkova of the Czech Republic and Celine Naef of Switzerland with a 6-3, 6-3 victory.

• No. 1 seeds Mili Poljicak of Croatia and Edas Butvilas of Lithuania won the boys’ doubles title with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over No. 2 seeds Gonzalo Bueno and Ignacio Buse, both of Peru.


Diede de Groot defended her French Open women’s wheelchair singles title by defeating long-time rival Yui Kamiji of Japan, 6-4, 6-1, on Court Philippe-Chatrier, in a rematch of last year’s final. It was de Groot’s third Paris singles trophy and 14th major singles title.

The victory extended de Groot’s winning streak to 18 and she’s now won her last six majors.

It was the first time a wheelchair tennis final had taken place on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

“This is exactly what wheelchair tennis needs,” de Groot said during the trophy ceremony.

• No. 2 seed Shinto Kunieda of Japan defeated No. 3 seed Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 to win the Roland Garros men’s wheelchair singles for the eighth time and first since 2018.

Kunieda, 38, has now won 27 Grand Slam wheelchair singles titles.

Saturday’s French Open results

Sunday’s French Open order of play

Passing shots

In Iga Swiatek’s pre-final BBC column, she revealed her music playlist and how rock music has helped her during her winning streak. “It’s always rock music,” she wrote. “There are five songs from Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Gorillaz and Pearl Jam and they are on repeat.”

For the record, Iga’s playlist:

“Thunderstruck” – AC/DC

“Even Flow” – Pearl Jam

“Feel Good Inc.” – Gorillaz

“Porch” – Pearl Jam

“Rock & Roll” – Led Zeppelin

By the numbers

Only 10 women in the Open Era (since 1968) have won multiple titles in Paris. Iga Swiatek is one of them and she has become the fourth-youngest multiple Roland-Garros champion in the Open Era, behind only Monica Seles, Steffi Graf and Chris Evert. She’s also the youngest player to win multiple major titles since Maria Sharapova won her second Grand Slam title at age 19 back in 2006 at the US Open.

“Quotable …”

“I know I’ll get this opportunity again. I really tried my best to win. I’d change the score, but I wouldn’t change the decisions I made on the court. I have so many people who love me and I really wanted to do this for them.”

Coco Gauff, during a post-match interview with NBC’s Maria Taylor.