Iga Swiatek Dominates Her Way to Roland Garros Title

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  • Iga Swiatek defeated Sofia Kenin on Saturday to win the 2020 Women’s French Open singles title.
  • Swiatek lost only 28 games and did not drop a set during her championship run.
  • The 19-year old is the youngest winner at Roland Garros since Rafael Nadal in 2005.

Poland’s Iga Swiatek completed her Cinderella ride at Roland Garros with a straight sets win in Saturday’s final.

With the poise of a veteran and the powerful shots of a champion, Swiatek raced to victory to claim her first tour-level title. And she did so at the biggest stage.

“It’s crazy. Two years ago, I won a junior Grand Slam, and right now I’m here. It feels like such a short time. I’m just overwhelmed.”

Well, she wasn’ just the only person overwhelmed. She overwhelmed the opposition she faced in Paris.

Swiatek Overwhelmed The opposition

The 19-year old Swiatek’s title-winning run completed without dropping a single set during the entire tournament. She lost just a total of 28 games on her way to her first major tournament. And she was just playing in only her seventh Grand Slam tournament, and never had gone past the fourth round.

Along the way, she beat opponents like 2018 champion and top-seeded Simona Halep and 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondousova, both by scores of 6-1, 61. On Saturday, she grabbed the last six games of the match to defeat 4th seeded and 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 in the Final. She claimed victory in one hour and 24 minutes, with 25 winners and only 17 unforced errors.

She dealt Kenin only her second loss in a grand slam this year. The American entered the Final with a 16-1- record in Grand Slam tournaments this season with her only loss coming at the hands of Elise Mertens at the fourth round of the 2020 U.S. Open last month at Flushing Meadows.

Record Breaking Win

She is the first Polish tennis player, man or woman, to win a singles major in tennis and only the third player from her country to win a Grand slam title in the open era. The other two to do it were Lukasz Kubot in the 2017 Wimbledon men’s doubles and Wotjek Fibak in the 1978 Australian Open men’s doubles.

Swiatek is also the first unranked women’s tennis player to win the French Open since 1975. She is also the fourth player in the last 40 years to win a Grand Slam title as their first career tour-level title. She is also the fourth teenage woman in the Open era to win the French Open without dropping a set. The last woman, regardless of age, to win at Roland Garros without losing a set was Justin Henin in 2007.

At 19 years and 132 days, she is also the youngest woman to win the French Open since Monica Seles was 19 years and 182 days old when she won in Paris in 1992 Among all players, Swiatek is also the youngest winner at Roland Garros since Rafael Nadal won his first title at Roland Garros in 2005 at the age of 19.

A Star is Born

This has been a crazy ride for the Polish teenager who recently had just finished high school and listens to the Guns N’ Roses song “Welcome To The Jungle” before she walks to the court. Even while she was making her storied run, she thought about focusing on her studies if things didn’t go her way in the tour. But after winning the French Open title, she might change her mind completely.

This has been an unusual French Open too. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the tournament from its traditional May-June date. Because of the pandemic, the French government limited the number of spectators on the ground to 1,000 every day. Some top women, including Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka did not join the tournament for safety reasons. And Serena Williams withdrew due to injury.

But none of those stole the thunder from Swiatek’s historic run. Not only did she ran through impressive competition, she also blasted her way through opponents who were in top form. Sure, there was a lack of star power in the 2020 French Open, but that only paved the way for the rise on a new one.

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