Iga Swiatek gets the Led out before blasting into Roland Garros final
Iga Swiatek listened to Led Zeppelin before taking her next step on the stairway to tennis heaven.
The world number one and hot title favourite put in a heavy metal performance to rock Russian Daria Kasatkina and reach the French Open final.
Swiatek, 20, won 6-2 6-1 in just 64 minutes of a one-sided semi on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
She said: “I try to treat every match the same way, and if I realise this is one of the most important matches of the season it stresses me out.
“So I just listen to music – Led Zeppelin, it really pumps me up – and use everything to help me.”
The Paris breeze initially caught Swiatek as she double-faulted the first point, and when Kasatkina scrambled an early break back for 2-2, another tough test looked on the cards.
But Kasatkina won just one more game while Swiatek took 20 of the last 23 points.
Swiatek is now tied for the second-longest winning streak of this century with Serena Williams having put together a 34-match run that matches what the younger Williams sister achieved between Miami and Wimbledon 2013.
If Swiatek can claim victory in the final she will equal Venus Williams’ 21st-century record of 35 straight wins, set in 2000.
Swiatek has also claimed 54 of her past 56 sets; since the fourth round of Indian Wells, only Liudmila Samsonova and Zheng Qinwen in Paris this week have managed to win a set from the 20-year-old Pole, both claiming the sets in tiebreaks.
The rankings queen has improved to 2-1 in Grand Slam semifinals.
She had previously defeated Nadia Podoroska at this stage of Roland Garros in 2020 en route to her first major title. However, Swiatek lost to Danielle Collins at the Australian Open in January.
Swiatek also extended her head-to-head lead over Kasatkina to 4-1, with all four victories coming this year at the Australian Open, Dubai, Doha and now Paris. Across those matches, Swiatek has conceded only 14 games to the Russian.
She now awaits the winner of the second semifinal between 18th seeded American teenager Coco Gauff and Italy’s Martina Trevisan.
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