IGA SWIATEK BECOMES FIRST POLE TO WIN GRAND SLAM AT 19
At the age of just 19, Iga Swiatek announced herself as the new superstar in tennis as she beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets to win the 2020 French Open.
The victory never looked in doubt as the teenager played seemingly without any nerves at all, and she came through in commanding fashion in just one hour and 24 minutes.
Swiatek has arrived on the biggest stage demonstrating a complete game, and the fourth seed Kenin never had much of a chance against the inspired Pole in a one-sided showpiece match.
Ranked at number 54 in the world coming into the year’s third and final Slam in Paris, Swiatek showed she was a serious threat by losing just three games against top seed Simona Halep in a huge fourth-round shock.
But her performance in the final was even more impressive as she stormed past the doughty Australian Open champion Kenin in a nerveless and stunning display.
“It’s crazy for me because I watch every year how Rafa lifts this trophy so it’s crazy that I’m in the same place,” Swiatek said in amusing fashion in her on-court interview.
The new tennis superstar from Warsaw remarkably did not drop a single set throughout the tournament and has become the youngest winner at Roland Garros since Monica Seles lifted the Suzanne Lenglen Cup in 1992.
Kenin looked off colour throughout as she won just three points in the opening three games in a slow start, and it never got much better as the ebullient Swiatek controlled the majority of the rallies.
The American had to receive off-court medical treatment on her left thigh after the third game of the second set, and it was at this point that the result appeared to not be in any doubt.
But the fourth seed’s fitness struggles on the day must take nothing away from her victorious opponent, who has confirmed her place as an established star at just 19 with a quite sensational all-round game.
In becoming the first Polish player to win a Grand Slam singles title, an emotional Swiatek recognised the impact she has had back home in inspiring a nation.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” she said with a beaming smile. “I’m so happy. I’m so happy my family was here finally. I don’t know. It was overwhelming for me.
“Two years ago I won a junior Grand Slam and now I’m here. It feels like such a short time. I’m just overwhelmed.”