Defending champion Iga Swiatek took a big step towards a third successive Roland Garros title by dismantling teary American third seed Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinal of French Open 2024 on Thursday to match her longest winning streak on clay.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek also extended her dominance over Gauff by sealing an 11th victory in 12 meetings and will head into a Saturday showdown with 12th seed Jasmine Paolini who beat Mirra Andreeva in the other semifinal.

Swiatek drew first blood by breaking in the opening game of the contest after a forehand error by the ultra-aggressive Gauff and the top-seeded Pole fought off break points in her next two service games before tightening her grip.

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Having dropped the first set following an error, Gauff wiped away tears while up 2-1 in the second after an argument with the umpire over a contentious line call, but the U.S. Open champion recovered to break her opponent for the first time.

However, Swiatek struck back immediately before holding and breaking to surge to a 4-3 lead with a powerful winner as a 20th straight victory at Roland Garros appeared in sight for the 23-year-old at her favourite hunting ground.

Soaking up the applause at a sun-drenched Court Philippe-Chatrier, Madrid and Rome champion Swiatek secured victory on serve and equalled her 18-match winning streak on the sport’s slowest surface between Stuttgart and Warsaw in 2022.