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Drench Open, late nights and Swiatek’s way ahead – Roland Garros talking points

Carlos Alcaraz won a first French Open title after a five-set thriller against Alexander Zverev.

A day earlier Iga Swiatek was peerless as she romped to a fourth Roland Garros crown.

Here, we look at what we learned from a fortnight in Paris.

The incessant rain in Paris over the first week saw this tournament dubbed the ‘Drench Open’. It also led to some ludicrous late finishes. Novak Djokovic endured the latest in Roland Garros history against Lorenzo Musetti, with the last ball struck at 3.08am local time. Djokovic was diplomatic about it despite later withdrawing with a knee injury, but other players hit out at the scheduling. Coco Gauff called it “not healthy” and Jamie Murray added: “We shouldn’t be in a situation where guys are finishing at 3am as by the time he goes to bed it’s probably like six and then you’re totally goosed the next day, and then the next day is a battle as well.”

With rowdy fan behaviour in the spotlight, chiefly after Belgian veteran David Goffin claimed a spectator spat chewing gum at him, Roland Garros bosses banned punters from drinking alcohol in the stands. Maybe banning chewing gum would have been the more sensible option. Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo later admitted: “Honestly, I don’t think in the end of the day it was necessary.” Get the Moet & Chandon back on ice for next year.

Gauff is now the world number two. The American’s run to the semi-finals earned her 350 points. Numbers two to 10 are separated by around 4,000 points in the WTA rankings list. Yet Swiatek is nearly 4,000 points ahead of Gauff, a gulf starkly illustrated by the Pole’s 6-2 6-4 dismantling of her nearest rival in the semi-final. The chasing pack have a lot of catching up to do. Yet Swiatek, now a four-time