Top-ranked Iga Swiatek beat 18-year-old American Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3 in the French Open women’s final Saturday to collect her second title at Roland Garros and stretch her winning streak to 35 matches.

Swiatek’s unbeaten run equals one by Venus Williams in 2000 as the longest this century.

HIGHLIGHTS

Swiatek has now won her past six tournaments and is 42-3 this season.

She has emerged as a dominant figure in tennis, with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams out of action for nearly a year and three-time major champ Ash Barty announcing in March she would retire at age 25 and relinquish the No. 1 ranking.

That allowed Swiatek to move up to the top of the WTA and she’s shown she is a deserving resident there. Her last loss came in February to 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Swiatek has a game that works on all surfaces, but her greatest triumphs so far have come on red clay. That includes her 2020 trophy in Paris, which made her the first player from Poland to win a Grand Slam singles title.

Rafael Nadal will face Casper Ruud in the men's final Sunday.

Swiatek urges Ukraine to 'stay strong'

Swiatek urged Ukraine to "stay strong" following the invasion by Russia.

Minutes after beating Gauff, the Polish top seed, who played the entire tournament with a ribbon in the Ukrainian colours pinned to her cap, said: "I would like to say something to Ukraine. Stay strong, the war is still there.

"Since my first speech in Doha (in February) basically I was hoping when I am doing the next one the situation will be better.

"But I still have hopes and try to support so thank you guys," said the 21-year-old amid roaring applause from the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Swiatek had addressed the situation in Ukraine following her title win in Doha on February 26, two days after Russian troops had launched the invasion.

The men's and women's tennis tours have banned Russia and Belarus from international team competitions following the invasion, which Moscow calls a "special military operation", but allowed players from the two countries to compete as neutrals.

Poland was the European Union country that in March granted temporary protection to the highest number of Ukrainians fleeing war, with 675,085 Ukrainians seeking refuge there, EU data showed on Friday.

Gauff praised the Pole for mentioning Ukraine, saying it was important to speak out.

"I think it's wonderful she brought that (Ukraine) up in her speech. I thought that was really nice and thoughtful of her," said Gauff, who earlier this week appealed for an end to gun violence in the United States following recent mass shootings.

"I think in general using sports as a platform is important. It's important that we mention these things. Writing something isn't going to end it... but for me, it's about influencing the leaders that are in office and leaders around the world maybe to hear that message."

The war has triggered Europe's worst refugee crisis since the end of World War Two, as more than 6 million people fled Ukraine, a United Nations' migration report said in May.