Iga Swiatek responds to Coco Gauff's major comment, addresses facing Aryna Sabalenka

Swiatek defeated Gauff to set up a Rome final versus Sabalenka.

by Dzevad Mesic
Iga Swiatek responds to Coco Gauff's major comment, addresses facing Aryna Sabalenka
© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Iga Swiatek did not want to agree or disagree with Coco Gauff's claim that she would have probably beaten anybody against her in Rome but the Pole did acknowledge that she was complimented by the American's comment. 

On Thursday afternoon in Rome, top-seeded Swiatek cinched her fifth straight-set win of the tournament after handing out No. 3 seed Gauff a 6-4 6-3 loss. 

On paper, it looks like Swiatek pretty routinely got the job done against Gauff. But in reality, Gauff was playing great throughout the match but Swiatek just a found a way to be a little bit better and the Pole coming up big in the key moments probably played a big part in her win. 

After the match, Gauff was frustrated with the outcome of the match - and not because she lost - but because she felt she was doing everything right but even that wasn't enough against Swiatek, who is widely considered the best clay court player in the game. 

"I would say from just this match, I feel more negative emotions right now. Looking at the whole tournament from where I started to now, I definitely feel like it's major improvement," Gauff said after Swiatek handed her a two-set defeat in the Rome semifinal.

"Against probably anybody else today, I would have won the match. I wanted to be aggressive, which I felt like I did. I think I missed some balls in some clutch moments. That's what being aggressive is. I think if I continue to play in this way, I will be more consistent in that."

Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek
Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Adam Pretty

Swiatek responds to Gauff's comment

Since Swiatek's press conference was starting after Gauff's, the Pole learned about what the American said from reporters. After telling Swiatek about Gauff's comment, a reporter also wanted to know how the felt about the 2023 US Open champion's claims and if it was true that with that level the American would have won against anybody except her.

"Well, for sure these are nice words. Hard for me to say. She's the one who's playing this kind of tennis and feeling what she can do with her racket... Well, it's a compliment from her, for sure, so..." Swiatek said.

Against Gauff, Swiatek was clinical in her shot-making and near perfect and that was something that made it so hard for Gauff to keep up with the world No. 1 despite playing at a high level.

In her press, Swiatek was also asked if she feels "unbeatable" when she is clearing the lines the way she did against Gauff.

"No. If I would feel that way, I wouldn't play so well because I always try to remind myself that I shouldn't expect anything, take anything for granted. Usually when I feel like this one is going to be a winner, I'm going to win this game, it doesn't happen, so... I have to think a little bit differently to be more efficient," Swiatek said.

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Swiatek on playing Aryna Sabalenka in the Rome final

Two weeks after edging out Sabalenka in what was deemed by many as the WTA match of the season so far, Swiatek is set to meet her old rival once again - this time in the Rome final. 

In Madrid, Swiatek survived some real drama and tense moments before completing a 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7) win after saving three championship points in a grueling battle that lasted three hours and 11 minutes. 

After a show that Swiatek and Sabalenka put up in the Madrid final, many were hoping to see a rematch in Rome. Now, that is set to happen. 

But when asked to compare between the Madrid final and the upcoming Rome final, Swiatek underlined those two tournaments are two completely different situations so what happened at Caja Magica probably won't have a big influence on what happens at Foro Italico. 

"Honestly, I don't think it makes sense to think about these two matches as one continuing story because totally different tournament. Well, different week, as well. It's not like it's going to be the same," Swiatek said.

"I'll try to, like, be in the present, not really think about Madrid. Obviously I need to analyze this match in terms of the tactics. Not too much, as well, because it was pretty tight. I think we both could have done some things better. It's a totally different story. I'll just focus on being present."

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Mike Hewitt

When Swiatek and Sabalenka meet on Saturday in Rome, it will be their 11th meeting. Heading into the match, Swiatek has seven wins and three losses against Sabalenka and she is again the favorite to win.

Iga Swiatek Coco Gauff Aryna Sabalenka