Coco Gauff has nothing to lose : Coco Gauff said that she has nothing to lose in Saturday’s Roland Garros final against world number 1 Iga Swiatek, with her opponent on a thirty four match winning streak and looking for a 2nd Roland Garros trophy.
Teenage superstar Gauff is the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon eighteen years ago and only graduated from high school while in Paris.
The eighteen year old has yet to slump a set in the contest and showed few signs of nerves in her first major semi-final with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Martina Trevisan.
But she is the underdog against Poland’s Swiatek, who will equal Venus Williams’ record for the greatest women’s unbeaten run in the 21st century if she wins the title.
“I think going on I have nothing to lose and she’s certainly the favourite going into the match on paper,” said American Gauff, who burst onto the sight by making the Wimbledon 4th round as a fifteen year old in 2019.
“I’m just going to play freely and play at my best. I believe in a Grand Slam final anything can happen.
“If I do lift the title, frankly, I don’t think my life is going to change. I know it sounds kind of bad to say that, but the people who love me are still going to love me despite if I lift the title or not.”
Swiatek, who herself only turned twenty one on Tuesday, has enjoyed an extraordinary season and is looking for a sixth successive trophy.
The 2020 Roland Garros champion’s 6-2, 6-1 semi-final hammering of Daria Kasatkina saw her draw level with Serena Williams’ career-best winning streak as of 2013.
“It’s going to be difficult for her opponent,” said Russian Kasatkina after seeing her run methodically ended by the top seed.
“I think the mental part is going to, particularly at the start, make a huge difference.
“It’s hard when the player is moving good and then she can switch to attack mode. Then it makes it really, really difficult.”
Swiatek has an outstanding Roland Garros record and has become the youngest player to win twenty games at Roland Garros since Martina Hingis in 1999.
Four of Swiatek’s five tournament wins this year have come at the prominent WTA 1,000 events, but she says she still has to combat nerves before big games.
“I couldn’t get rid of the expectations fully in the semi-finals, but I tried to believe that they are going to be there and it’s going to strain me a little bit more,” said Swiatek, who is eager to become the 10th multiple Roland Garros winner in the Open era.
Gauff wrote “peace, end gun violence” on a courtside TV camera after her semi-final win and has said she desires to speak out about issues off the court.
Swiatek, though, does not think she is prepared to use her profile to talk about political or social problems.
“I don’t essentially know how I want to use my platform,” she said. “I haven’t figured it out yet, because it’s still appealing new for me.
“I feel like I actually have to focus on my tennis first. When I’m going to get more experience in life usually I think it’s going to be easier for me to opt the right path.”
The Polish star has won both of her career matches with Gauff in the 2021 Rome semi-finals and in Miami earlier this year.
“I’m pretty pleased that she’s doing fine because I believe she’s also had a enormous amount of pressure in her life,” Swiatek said of Gauff, who is also into the women’s doubles final beside Jessica Pegula.
“When I see her, I forget that she is just 18.”
But there won’t be a fight of styles on Court Philippe Chatrier as both of them have a game based on hard hitting from the baseline.
With a joint age younger than the injured Serena Williams, this could be the 1st Grand Slam stage of a long rivalry at the summit of the women’s game.
- Coco Gauff emerges as US Open title favourite after impressive victory over Madison Keys
- Coco Gauff has nothing to lose | The pressure is on Iga Swiatek
- Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff road to the Roland Garros final
- Teenage meets Experience as Coco Gauff and Barty Lock Horns
- Top tennis stars and their stance on getting vaccinated
- Watch Coco Gauff dancing while being trapped in an elevator in Charleston