Iga Swiatek, a 19-year-old Polish woman who arrived in Paris at number 54 in the world, leaves as the first champion in the Grand Slams of her country after a stunning victory over American Sofia Kenin in French Open Final.
Emotion overcame her after winning 6-4, 6-1, in an hour and 24 minutes on a cold, sunny afternoon flashing at the Philippe Chatrier stadium, she said in a trembling voice from under her face mask against the Corona virus: “I haven’t won a championship in two years, so I’m not Sure of what to say, but thanks everyone. “
In the immediate aftermath, she said, “I’m so happy to have my family here, at last. This is crazy. I’m just amazed.” When asked about the influence of her father, Tomás, a former Olympic player in rowing, she flushed and turned towards him in the stands, and said, “He taught me how to be a professional. It’s hard to describe, but he raised me that way, so I feel so confident on the field and … Sorry, its hard to keep my thoughts together. He gave us everything. Sorry … but I love him. “
It was the kind of unmoved, mesmerizing response that attracted young crowds on-site at Roland Garros for two weeks, and won a much bigger boom afterward.
Swiatek ignored the distraction from breaking her opponent’s injury in the second set, saying, “I think I was mentally coherent. The day was just too stressful for me so it was kinda hard.”
Feelings and smart money have always been with Swiatek. She surpassed each opponent through discipline, sometimes with intimidating force and no simple style, while Kenin had to survive four-player three to reach the final. Pessimistic pessimists pointed to the American’s tough victory in Melbourne and their advance to the fourth round here in 2019. What was not in dispute is character will be the deciding factor.
Swiatek carved a transmitter through the autumn shades that fell pretty much along the top of the transmission box for an early vacation. The serve came back well inside the baseline with the sun in her eyes after switching ends, and Kenin broke down to 30. When she grabbed comfortably to take a 3-0 lead, she looked like she was running away with the match but Kenin, Moscow planted forged in a loose American tennis bubble, made of stubborn Russian stock . She held on nervously and then broke again to stop the bleeding.
There was a lot to admire on both sides of the network in the early exchanges, and a little bit of superiority. Off the field, Swiatek gave Kenin a long, fierce glow when he aimlessly challenged the American on the phone call. Loudly, Kenin was energetic in every shot. Swiatek waited her time, silently but with the same risk. As Kenin was working to keep the group alive, slaying it with a double-fisted cross-fist, she looked irreparably desperate.
She collapsed early in the second set but took an instant counter strike to her nose as Swiatek found holes where her opponent thought she did not exist.
Their challenges diverge now. Kenin fought her own game. Swiatek was grooved, and her mindset was more stable. When Kenin panicked in a tight forward blow from the baseline, she cut a series of five breaks and ruthlessly drove to the end.
Quinine, drowning, took a time off to treat. Fans discovered the gaming spirit. Kenin, who faced the cold, clapped cheers. If Kenin really needs time away from the fight to treat her left thigh, that’s fair enough; If it disrupts its opponent’s momentum, it is not the case.
There was no appreciable difference in Kenin’s move after she returned to court seven minutes later, but the winners kept going. Swiatek, who now had the complete love of pooling, seemed unmoved. The ace helped her hold on to love, and she was secured by a failed front blow from Kenen.
Swiatek continued to torment her with piercing ground hits with inaccessible angles, raced on a love break and 5-1 with a deft backhand in an empty court.
After an hour and 20 minutes into the match that many thought would last much longer, Swiatek went up to the streak where the match started to present. When the Girl with a Winning Smile and Game of the Hero slipped with a gorgeous angled forward blow behind her devastating opponent, there was no doubt as to where the fans were loyal.
Swiatek fell to her knees, shook her head as she stared at the mud for several seconds, and could forgive any breach of social distancing as she rushed to hug her family in the sparsely populated boxes.
Numbers and records tumbled like raindrops. Swiatek is the seventh woman in the open era to win a slam title without a rating (her ranking jumped to 17 and her bank balance from about $ 1 million to nearly three times that) and she is one of eight first-time winners in the past 13 majors. She is the youngest female winner at Roland Garros since Monica Seles in 1992.
“You played really well and congratulate you on your game,” Kenin was short, and one hopes you congratulate the winner from the heart. One thing is indisputable: The tone has been set for what should be intense rivalry in the years to come.
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