Iga Swiatek Writes Polish Tennis History At Roland Garros

PARIS/STARNBERG, October 10, 2020 (by Alessandro Boroch)

On Saturday afternoon in Paris, 19-year-old Iga Swiatek wrote Polish tennis history by becoming the first-ever player from Poland to win a major singles title. Swiatek overwhelmed No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin from the United States, 6-4, 6-1, to win the French Open women’s singles crown on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The unseeded Swiatek is the first woman since Justine Henin in 2007 to secure the Roland Garros singles trophy without dropping a set.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” Swiatek said during an on-court interview after her victory. “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.”

Swiatek started the final furiously, after immediately producing a break to gain a 3-0 lead. She lost just three of the first 15 points of the encounter. However, running away with the break lead turned out to be more difficult, as the current World No. 54 began showing nervousness in her first major final, eventually producing a double fault to help the reigning Australian Open champion Kenin to equalize the score again.

The following games were very contested – all went to deuce – with Swiatek serving for the set at 5-3. Eventually, she conceded a re-break after Kenin blasted a backhand return winner. However, Swiatek remained composed despite having missed a chance to close the set. After 50 minutes, it was therefore no big surprise that Swiatek still won the opening set 6-4, displaying outstanding defense to force errors off Kenin’s racket.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the second set, but it was still Swiatek who was the more active competitor. She showed great variety with the help of massive spin in her shots.

Down 1-2 to Swiatek, Kenin took a medical time-out for a left hip/thigh problem. After receiving medical attention off of the court, Kenin could not earn anymore games to her advantage. She received a virtual bagel from Swiatek, who finally gained victory after just 84 minutes. The young Pole ended the match with 25 winners.

Thanks to her spectacular run in Paris, Swiatek will enter the Top 20 for the first time when the new WTA rankings are updated next week. She will hold a career-high ranking of No. 17.

Stricker wins French Open junior boys’ title

Dominic Stephan Stricker defeated Leandro Riedi, 6-2, 6-4, in 61 minutes in an all-Swiss junior boys’ final. Stricker won 70 percent of his first-serve points, broke Riedi five times, and outpointed his opponent 66-50. Stricker is the first French Open junior boys’ champion from Switzerland since Stan Wawrinka won the title in 2003.