02 June 2022

Iga Swiatek eases into French Open final after getting fired up by Led Zeppelin

02 June 2022

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.

“There are a few bands that I listen to before a match. Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Guns N’ Roses, they were always the three that were really kind of perfect for the situation, you know.

“So I use music to kind of have something that’s going to get my brain busy and relaxed before the match. But also when I want to be more energetic, it really helps me.”

The Paris breeze initially caught Swiatek out 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, finishing the job with an ace.

Her winning streak now stands at 34 matches and victory in Saturday’s final, against American teenager Coco Gauff, will match Serena Williams’ record for consecutive wins this century.

“For sure I’m even more happy with the performance than after the previous match, because I feel like my game is getting more and more solid,” added Swiatek, who won the title here in 2020.

“I can really loosen up when I’m getting advantage and when I’m having a break, so that’s great. I feel like I’m playing better every match.”

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