Iga Swaitek was moved close to tears as she won Poland’s first Grand Slam title on Saturday in a 6-4, 6-1 thrashing of Sofia Kenin at the French Open.

The 19-year-old who coasted to victory to end the quarantine-restricted clay fortnight without the loss of a set, ran out of things to say in her podium speech after thanking all and sundry.

“Do I have to keep talking,’ she asked innocently to the maximum limit of 1,000 fans allowed around the Chatrier showcourt.

The COVID-masked trophy ceremony with 2000 champion Mary Pierce presenting the award, began as a pair of ballboys marched unto the stage and presented Pierce and federation boss Barnard Giudicelli with symbolic squirts of hand sanitiser.

Swiatek was watched in her biggest tennis moment by her father and sister in the player box.

The WTA No. 54 will find herself ranked 17th on Monday after wrapping up the win in 84 minutes with an untouchable forehand cross-court to the corner.

Iga Swiatek with the winners trophy after winning the Ladies Singles title. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

“I don’t know what is going on, I’m so happy,” she said. “I’m glad my family was able to come her to see it.

Swiatek was unable to precisely identify the secret sauce of her success.

“I was mentally consistent, I wanted to play aggressive like in previous rounds. 

“Today was stressful for me – it was hard. I don’t know what made the difference. But I won the match and that’s what’s important.

“It’s crazy in women’s tennis right now, underdogs are winning the Grand Slams,” she said in obvious reference to Kenin’s surprise Australian Open title 10 months ago and the 2019 US Open trophy of Canadian Bianca Andreescu..

The only other Pole to reach the Roland Garros final was Jadwiga Jedrzejowska in 1939. Aga Radwanska finished as Wimbledon runner-up eight years ago.

Swiatek’s also beat Kenin in the Paris junior final in 2016. The Pole followed Justine Henin (2007), the last woman to claim the trophy here without losing a set.

Swiatek won the first set in 50 minutes and captured the trophy on her first match point after Kenin had taken a medical timeout late in the second set.

Share:

Leave a Reply