French Open lookahead: Gauff, 18, takes on No. 1 Swiatek
PARIS (AP) — LOOKAHEAD TO SATURDAY
Coco Gauff, an 18-year-old from Florida who is ranked No. 23, will participate in her first Grand Slam final against 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek, who is ranked No. 1 and has won her past 34 matches and her last five tournaments. If Swiatek beats Gauff, she will equal a 35-match run by Venus Williams in 2000 for the longest unbeaten streak this century. Gauff and Swiatek have played each other twice before. Both matches were won by Swiatek in straight sets — last year on clay in Rome and this year on a hard court in Miami. Swiatek, who turned 21 on Tuesday, is the only Polish tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles trophy.
Rain. High of 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 Celsius).
Men’s Semifinals: No. 5 Rafael Nadal beat No. 3 Alexander Zverev 7-6 (8), 6-6, retired; No. 8 CAsper Ruud beat No. 20 Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
STAT OF THE DAY
36 — Rafael Nadal’s age as of Friday, his birthday; he is the oldest man to reach the singles final at Roland Garros since Bill Tilden was the runner-up at 37 in 1930.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I believe he’s 13-0 in the finals, so just shows that it might sound like an impossible task. But of course I will give it a shot, like the other 13 people before me have done.” — Casper Ruud, the 23-year-old Norwegian whose first Grand Slam final will come Sunday against 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, who indeed is unbeaten in title matches at the clay-court tournament.
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