Teenager Iga Swiatek rose to the occasion as she defeated fourth seed Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 in the final of the French Open to become the first Polish player, male or female, to win a Grand Slam title.
It was another near-flawless performance from the 19-year-old, who did not drop more than five games in any of her seven matches during the Roland Garros fortnight.
“It was overwhelming for me,” said Swiatek, who slammed 25 winners past Kenin on the day. “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.”
— Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) October 10, 2020
Unseeded at the tournament and ranked 54 in the world before the French open started, Swiatek is also the lowest-ranked woman to win the clay-court major since rankings were introduced in 1975.
“Another underdog wins a Grand Slam in women’s tennis, it’s crazy,” she added.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) October 10, 2020
Having raced to a 3-0 lead, the Pole showed a few signs of nerves as she struggled to figure out Kenin’s game and let the American equal the opening set 3-0. She also failed to serve out the set at 5-3, but kept her cool to break Kenin’s serve in the next game and seal the set.
Australian Open champion Kenin, only 21 herself, needed a medical time out at 2-1 in the second set. On resumption, Swiatek tightened the screws, dropping only five points after that to seal victory in an hour and 24 minutes.
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) October 10, 2020
Swiatek, who defeated last year’s runner up Marketa Vondrousova and top seed Simona Halep en route the final, did not drop a single set as she raced to a maiden Grand Slam title.
She is the first woman since Justine Henin in 2007 to clinch the title without conceding a set and only the second unseeded champion at Roland-Garros, after Jelena Ostapenko three years ago. Like Ostapenko, it also marked her first tour title.
Swiatek will rise to world No.17 in the WTA rankings on Monday.