Iga Świątek is the newest first time grand slam winner after a stunning victory in the French Open final against Sofia Kenin. Her 6-4 6-1 win over the American sees her following in the recent footsteps of Jelena Ostapenko, Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu in becoming the first female slam champion from her country.
Swiatek had never won a WTA Tour title before this so could have been forgiven had she started nervously but this was not to be the case as she rushed into a 3-0 lead with some punishing hitting early on. She would get pegged back to 3-3 as Kenin grew into the match while the Pole began to hit a few more errors. A hold for 4-3 settled the nerves before another Świątek break came after the Pole showed the defensive side of her game with some great retrieval skills. Kenin would show why she is a slam champion herself with some big points to break back but she would be unable to hold her serve under the Świątek barrage.
Świątek was broken to begin the set after Kenin punished a serve on break point but that would be as much as the American got in the second set. She lost the next two games before having a medical timeout to attend to her already taped thigh. The fearless Świątek was not disturbed by the delay and continued to control the match, breaking once more upon the resumption of the match. She barely put a foot wrong in the second set as the match got out of hand very quickly, with just two unforced errors in the set. The run of six straight games was completed as she served out the match at the first time of asking to become the first Polish grand slam champion.
While the first set showed her toughness against a spirited opponent, the second set showed the Pole at her very best as an aggressive but controlled hitter. “I’m just proud of myself. I’ve done a great job past two weeks. I wasn’t expecting to win this trophy. It’s obviously amazing for me. It’s a life-changing experience,” she said.
Świątek will only move to No. 17 in the WTA rankings but if this week is anything to go by, she will be top 10 very soon. “Really, I feel like I can do progress in most of the things because I’m only 19. I know my game isn’t developed perfectly. I think the biggest change for me is going to be to be consistent. That’s why my goal is going to be to be consistent. It’s going to be really hard to achieve that. Right now, I’m just going to enjoy the moment. I’m going to think about my future goals later.”