It's 34 unbeaten for Swiatek after easy semi-final victory
We are now at 34 matches unbeaten for Iga Swiatek and, after her straightforward victory over Darya Kasatkina on Thursday in the semi-finals, she's now only dropped one set in her last 12 matches as well - a level of dominance rarely seen on the WTA Tour in recent years.
The ballpark even money on the Pole pre-tournament looked a bit big at the time and has been the case as the tournament has progressed. You can never be sure how the draw will play out, but if you accumulate all her odds (including the final today), she works out at around 1.705/7 for the title based on her pre-match pricing.
Gauff needing to serve outstandingly to overturn odds
On Thursday in the preview for Swiatek's semi-final against Darya Kasatkina, I said: "I fear for her serve against Swiatek, who should be able to consistently pressure Kasatkina in that area."
I feel this is where this match is likely to be won or lost today, and opponent Cori Gauff will need to serve extremely well if she's to have any chance of overturning the odds.
Those odds are heavily in Swiatek's favour. She's the 1.162/13 favourite to win the match and be celebrating her second French Open title, after the one she picked up in 2020.
Some have made the comparison that Gauff in 2022 is the new Swiatek from 2020, but there's one huge difference - Swiatek was the 1.501/2 favourite to beat Sofia Kenin in the final two years ago, while Gauff is a huge underdog against the best clay courter on tour by an absolute mile.
Big data edge in favour of Swiatek
The data shows as much. Swiatek has won almost 7% more serve points than Gauff on clay this season. Being able to hold serve over 80% on clay with her return game gives you just the insight you need into why Swiatek has been successful. On return, matters are closer but Swiatek still wins 2% more return points as well.
Several months ago in Miami, the two players met on hard court and Swiatek eased to a 6-3 6-1 victory priced around 1.251/4, but Swiatek is a better clay courter and there really isn't much to dispute the current market line which is a few ticks shorter than previously.
That day, Gauff struggled to create an impact on return, winning just 28% of return points. For there to be an upset today, that has to change and Gauff has to serve at her top level. Swiatek will need to have an extremely rare off-day for there to be a major shock tonight, and I'd be very surprised indeed if that happened.