Roger Parker continues his daily diary from Roland Garros, where Iga Swiatek triumphed yesterday over Sofia Kenin in the Ladies Singles final…
After beating hot favourite Sofia Kenin in today’s Roland Garros Ladies singles final, 19-year-old Iga Swiatek ran up to her player box and hugged and kissed all the family, including father Tomasz a former Olympic rower, and friends who had made the journey to Paris.
She embraced her coach Piotr Sierzputowski, and another vital member of her coaching team, sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, who goes to all of Świątek’s tournaments.
The pair also joined her in the Roland Garros locker room for the traditional post match photo.
One non-travelling member of her team was her black cat “Grappa” named after her occasional enjoyment of a nip of the Italian brandy she discovered on a holiday to Italy.
In her winner’s speech Iga said she hoped her beloved feline watched her match.
Her tournament record was remarkable, dropping only 28 games and not conceding a set on her way to becoming the youngest women’s French Open winner since Monica Seles lifted the trophy as a 16-year-old in 1990, beating Steffi Graf.
Ranked World No.54, she is the lowest ranked woman to capture the Roland Garros title in the modern era, and becomes only the ninth first-time Major champion in the past 14 Grand Slams.
Swiatek wasn’t even sure if she was going to play the WTA tour this year having just left high school and earning a university place.
Having today earned €1.8 million euros she certainly made the right career choice.
Walking onto court today wearing her headphones Iga’s playlist probably included her favourite rockers, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pink Floyd, Santana, Coldplay and AC/DC.
How come she’s so into rock music from the past? “When I was going to tournaments, that’s the music my coaches listened to,” she explained.
“And it just stayed with me, I grew fond of it.
Her favourite tennis player is Rafael Nadal, so what a weekend it could be for her, winning her maiden slam in the same year that “King of Clay” Rafa picking up has thirteenth French Open Title?