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Iga Swiatek sweeps Jasmine Paolini for third consecutive French Open title

Iga Swiatek of Poland holds her trophy during a ceremony at the end of her final match against Jasmine Poalini of Italy at the French Open in Roland Garros in Paris, France, on Saturday. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI

June 8 (UPI) -- Iga Swiatek dotted the dirt with relentless pinpoint winners, exhausting an overwhelmed Jasmine Paolini to claim her third consecutive French Open title Saturday in Paris.

With the 6-2, 6-1 singles final victory, Swiatek became the third woman to win three French Open titles in a row in the Open Era, joining Monica Seles (1990-92) and Justine Henin (2005-07). In all, she has won four titles in the French Open.

"I was almost out of the tournament in the second round, so thank you guys for staying behind my back and supporting me," Swiatek told the crowd during the trophy presentation.

"I also needed to believe that this one would be possible. It's been a really emotional tournament."

Swiatek, the No. 1 player in the world, needed just 68 minutes to dispatch her No. 15 foe. The Polish tennis star dropped two of the first three games of the match, but responded with a rabid wrath.

Iga Swiatek of Poland poses with the Suzanne-Lenglen-trophy on Saturday after winning the women's single final against Jasmine Paolini of Italy during the French Open Grand Slam at Roland Garros in Paris. Photo ny Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE
Iga Swiatek of Poland poses with the Suzanne-Lenglen-trophy on Saturday after winning the women's single final against Jasmine Paolini of Italy during the French Open Grand Slam at Roland Garros in Paris. Photo ny Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE

She went on to win the next 10 games, breaking her Italian counterpart's serve five times during that stretch.

"I think to play [her] here is the toughest challenge in the sport," Paolini said of Swiatek on the NBC broadcast.

Iga Swiatek of Poland and Jasmine Poalini of Italy shake hands at the end of their final match at the French Open in Roland Garros in Paris, France, on Saturday. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI
Iga Swiatek of Poland and Jasmine Poalini of Italy shake hands at the end of their final match at the French Open in Roland Garros in Paris, France, on Saturday. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI

Swiatek, who extended her unbeaten streak at Roland Garros to 21, secured her fifth Grand Slam singles title and claimed $2.6 million in prize money.

She converted 5 of 9 break point chances, fired 18 winners and totaled just 11 forced errors and 13 unforced errors en route to her fourth clay-court crown in five years.

Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates at the end of her final match against Jasmine Poalini of Italy at the French Open in Roland Garros in Paris, France, on Saturday. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI
Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates at the end of her final match against Jasmine Poalini of Italy at the French Open in Roland Garros in Paris, France, on Saturday. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI

Paolini converted her lone break point opportunity. She totaled seven winners, 21 forced errors and 18 unforced errors.

Swiatek and Paolini each held their first serves. Paolini then broke Swiatek's second serve to take a 2-1 edge. The world No. 1 then refocussed, starting her dominant run to the title.

The 5-foot-9 Swiatek stayed mostly stationary, using a strong base to spray shots laterally. The baseline appeared to look a mile long for the 5-foot-4 Paolini, who was constantly on the move.

Paolini's previously strong serves and returns lost velocity as Swiatek, who improved to 5-0 in major finals, summoned speed and strength.

Swiatek earned her first break point conversion in the fourth game of the match. She then held and broke her foe again in the fifth game. Swiatek held her next serve and claimed set point when Paolini hit a return into the net.

Swiatek held through her first three service games of the second set and broke Paolini two more times to sprint to a 5-0 lead,.

Paolini finally stopped the bleeding by winning her final service game. Swiatek then claimed match point after Paolini was unable to handle a 117 mph final serve and sent a return past the baseline.

Paolini, 28, will jump from No. 15 to No. 7 in the WTA Tour singles rankings because of her run in Paris. She will team up with fellow Italian Sara Errani to compete against American Coco Gauff and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic for the French Open women's doubles title Sunday at Roland Garros.

"It's been a very intense 15 days and I'm really happy and proud of my team to be here," Paolini said. "Today was tough, but I'm really proud of myself anyway."

No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain will face No. 4 Alexander Zverev of Germany in the French Open men's singles final at 9 a.m. EDT Sunday in Paris. The match will air on NBC.