PARIS (AP)The Latest on the French Open tennis tournament (all times local):
Billie Jean King was back on Court Philippe Chatrier for a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of her victory at Roland Garros.
The French Open said it was also recognizing the 78-year-old King’s lifelong battle for equality and social justice.
King had risked her career to help start the Virginia Slims tour. It led to the creation of the Women’s Tennis Association in 1973 as the organizing body for women’s professional tennis.
King is scheduled to receive the ”Legion d’Honneur” award on Friday at the Elysee Palace at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.
King beat Evonne Goolagong in the 1972 French Open final to complete a career Grand Slam. She won 12 Grand Slam singles titles.
After the end of the semifinal matches Thursday, the tournament planned to show ”Battle of the Sexes” on the giant screens on Court Suzanne Lenglen. The film tells the story of the 1973 match between King and Bobby Riggs. The televised match was considered a milestone in the promotion of women’s equality and was watched by millions around the world.
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek advanced to the final of the French Open by beating Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 in a dominant victory that ties her with Serena Williams for the second-longest winning streak of this century.
Swiatek’s 34th in a row puts her one win away from both her second Roland Garros title and matching Venus Williams for the longest streak on the tour since 2000.
From 2-2 in the opener, Swiatek dropped only three points the rest of the first set. She then won the last nine points and clinched the victory with her only ace of the 64-minute match.
The 20th-seeded Kasatkina has two career wins over reigning No. 1 players but hit 24 unforced errors to Swiatek’s 13.
Swiatek, who won the 2020 French Open, will face either Coco Gauff or Martina Trevisan in the final on Saturday.
Swiatek improved to 41-3 this season with four of the wins coming against Kasatkina. Swiatek has won her last five tournaments and hasn’t lost since February. She’s now 15-0 on clay this season.
Kasatkina was a first-time Grand Slam semifinalist.
The second-seeded pair of Ena Shibahara and Wesley Koolhof won the mixed doubles title at the French Open by defeating Ulrikke Eikeri and Joran Vliegen 7-6 (5), 6-2.
Shibahara and Koolhof trailed 5-2 in the first-set tiebreaker before winning the next five points. They dominated the second set, winning 10 straight points at one point en route to a 4-1 lead on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Shibahara, a native Californian who plays for Japan, served out the match and clinched the championship with an ace. It’s the first Grand Slam title for Shibahara and Koolhof, who is from the Netherlands.
Top-seeded Iga Swiatek faces 20th-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia in the first of the women’s semifinal matches scheduled for Day 12 at Roland Garros.
Swiatek is on a 33-match winning streak, the longest on the women’s tour since Serena Williams won 34 straight in 2013.
The 21-year-old Polish player won the 2020 French Open. Kasatkina has never reached a final at a Grand Slam tournament.
Later, 18-year-old Coco Gauff of the United States will try to reach her first Grand Slam final when she faces Martina Trevisan of Italy. The 28-year-old Trevisan is ranked 59th.
But first up on Court Philippe Chatrier is the mixed doubles final. The second-seeded pair of Ena Shibahara and Wesley Koolhof face Ulrikke Eikeri and Joran Vliegen.
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