Poland’s president andrzej duda and world number one novak djokovic were among the first to congratulate the sensational winner of paris.
"Big thanks and congratulations to iga swiatek! A historic day for poland, polish sport and polish tennis. Bravo!", tweeted duda. One day before his own final match against defending champion rafael nadal, djokovic wrote succinctly: "congratulations".
19-year-old iga swiatek crowned her sensational run with a 6:4, 6:1 win over australian open winner sofia kenin from the u.S. And unexpectedly secured the french open title. As the first tennis pro from poland and the youngest roland garros champion since croatian iva majoli in 1997. "It’s crazy, two years ago i won a grand slam in the juniors," she said looking back on her 2018 junior wimbledon title. "And now I am standing here."
The world ranking 54. The first player since justine henin from belgium in 2007 to win the french open without losing a set and the lowest ranked player ever. When swiatek took her first match point with a cracking forehand after 1:24 hours on the court philippe chatrier, she first went down on her knees and clutched her racket with both hands. She shook her head, cupped her hands in front of her eyes and mouth, and finally hopped across the court with her arms raised, thanking the few spectators allowed on the center court.
"I don’t know what’s happening right now. I’m so happy, it’s just overwhelming," said swiatek in the interview on the court, before she had to break it off later, overcome by her emotions.
The teenager from warsaw has been playing without a care in the world for the past few weeks, impressing from the first round with an aggressive and fearless style of play. In the final match against the sixth-ranked player in the world, kenin, swiatek got off to another turbo start. She quickly took a 3-0 lead, dominated the rallies and won set one after 48 minutes.
In the second round kenin had to be treated and took a three-minute medical time-out. Obviously not in full possession of her powers, the 21-year-old was no longer able to offer enough resistance to her opponent, so that swiatek crowned her sensational run through the tournament by winning the title and winning by 16 percent.50 o’clock, the silver suzanne lenglen trophy was raised in the air.
This spring, the warsaw native graduated from high school, and since then she has devoted herself entirely to her tennis career. She comes from a family of athletes: her father tomasz swiatek represented the polish national rowing team at the 1988 seoul olympics. It was also the father who had the idea of tennis for his daughter. "First my sister agata, who is three years older, played. I watched them and envied them," iga swiatek recalled recently in an interview with "gazeta wyborcza".
While her sister was training, she and her father were hitting balls back and forth on the edge of the tennis court. Later, her father was always the one who encouraged her to train, even when she often didn’t feel like it as a child, the french open winner told the youtube portal "kanal sportowy" recently. When the polish national anthem sounded on saturday afternoon and swiatek’s eyes gleamed above his mouth-nose protection, the mooing was forgotten.