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Paolini happy despite brutal French Open defeat

PARIS : Jasmine Paolini was no match for Iga Swiatek as she was steamrolled in the French Open final on Saturday, but happiness prevailed at the end of the Italian's unexpected run in Paris.

The 12th seed's career took a big upturn this season when she won the Dubai title - one of the tournaments just below Grand Slam level - and at Roland Garros, the 28-year-old beat fourth seed Elena Rybakina on her way to the final.

While others have crumbled under pressure in their first Grand Slam final, the diminutive Paolini showed no signs of nerves in a bright start as she broke serve for 2-1 with a smile on her face.

Swiatek, however, had too much poise and pace for the Tuscan, who lost 11 of the remaining 12 games on a sunbathed court Philippe Chatrier.

"She was playing unbelievable level I think all the match. No mistakes, hitting winners," Paolini told a press conference.

"I tried to play my best, but it's not easy to play at that intensity. I never played a player that has this intensity before in my life. I think it was the most challenging match I played in my entire career."

World number one Swiatek has now won 21 straight matches at Roland Garros.

"She won already four titles, and she's 23. These numbers are not normal, they're unbelievable," Paolini said.

Paolini will climb to seventh in the world rankings on Monday.

"I'm really happy. It's a strange feeling. I just lost the final, but I think I have to be happy with those two weeks, and my new ranking," she said.

"It's a happy moment for me. It's not a sad moment."

With the doubles final still to play with compatriot Sara Errani on Sunday, Paolini is enjoying herself.

"I don't know where the future can take me. I don't know what my next dream is," she said.

Read more on channelnewsasia.com