Paris – Coco Goff, 18, and Iga Sviatek, 21, have never played against each other in the French Open before Saturday’s final. But they were made in Paris in 2018 within a single point.
That was the year when Goff won the girls title at the French Open, defeating his close friend and American compatriot Katie McNally in the final. McNally defeated Sviatek in the semifinals and saved a match point.
“I was actually preparing to play with him,” Gauff told Sviatek. “And Katie saved the match point against her and I played Katie in the final.”
Gauf said he does not know Sviatek well, but he has known him since they both started their professional tour in 2019. “I have known him since he was probably lower and now that he is number one, I will say that nothing has changed except his tennis,” Gauff told a news conference ahead of the final. “Behind the scenes, he’s as enjoyable as I think you guys see him at press conferences. I think this is a really important and rare sight, so I definitely congratulate him on this aspect. “
Gauf 0-2 on tour with Sviatek, but this will be their first match in a single in a Grand Slam tournament and their first final.
“This final, I mean, I want it for me, but I think I’m really happy to play it specifically,” Gauf said. “I always wanted him to play in the final and I knew it would eventually happen even just in juniors, what our games were like in both projections. I just did not think it would happen so soon.”
Sviatek, of course, became a regular in the finals. This is his sixth consecutive final on the tour as he has extended his winning streak to 34 matches. But he also monitored Gaufi’s progress. “Of course, I am very happy that he is working well, because I think he also has a lot of pressure in his life and is always the youngest and the one who should be the future,” Sviatek said. “It should have been necessary.”