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French Open 2024 Live Score, Women’s Final: Defending champion Swiatek takes on Paolini, eyes third straight title

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Iga Swiatek is just one win away from clinching three straight French Open titles, something no woman has achieved since Justine Henin did the three-peat from 2005-07.

Standing between Swiatek and her place in history is a 5’4” Italian named Jasmine Paolini. 

It’s a final not many could have predicted since the 28-year-old Paolini had not even made it past the second round of a Major before this year. But the 12th seed has played some inspired tennis this season.

She won the Dubai Masters in February, the biggest title of her career.

In the last two weeks, she has shown that even if she doesn’t have a great serve, she can make up for it with a strong forehand and her speed. Her wins over Bianca Andreescu in third round and Elina Avanesyan in round of 16 were impressive but the way she knocked out fourth seed Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinals made her a genuine title contender. Her semifinal victory over Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva further highlighted the fact that she is high on confidence and genuinely believes she has a chance to win the whole thing. 

For Swiatek, it has been another great season on clay. While she did lose to Rybakina in the semifinals of Stuttgart Open, she bounced back to win back-to-back titles in Madrid and Rome, beating World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the final both times.

However, her French Open title defence could have ended in the first week of the tournament itself when she faced a match point against former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka in the second round. But current World No. 1 Swiatek overcame that blip and since then, has cruised through her matches against Marie Bouzkova, Anastasia Potapova, Marketa Vondrousova and Coco Gauff.

Swiatek on clay is a deadly combination and it is going to be an enormous task for Paolini to upset her but Karoline Muchova almost did it during last year’s final when she led Swiatek during the third set.

Paolini is set to make her Top 10 debut in the upcoming WTA Rankings. She has already ended a long wait for Italy by becoming the first woman from her country to reach the final in Paris since her current doubles partner Sara Errani finished runner-up 12 years ago. It remains to be seen if she can join 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone as the only Italian women to have lifted the trophy

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