Teenager Swiatek dazzles to claim first Grand Slam title
Securing a first Grand Slam title is supposed to be an arduous task but 19-year-old Iga Swiatek crowned an extraordinary fortnight to win the French Open in a blaze of winners on Saturday, crushing Sofia Kenin 6-4 6-1.
Swiatek, who had dropped only 23 games en route to the final, produced another audacious display as she became the first Polish player to win a Grand Slam singles title.
Only briefly in the first set did Swiatek show any weakness, letting slip a 3-0 lead, but having edged a tightly-contested opening set she romped to victory, although fourth seed Kenin’s challenge appeared to be hampered by a thigh injury.
Australian Open champion Kenin, herself only 21, needed treatment at 1-2 in the second set and on the resumption Swiatek was utterly ruthless, conceding only three more points, sealing the title with an unstoppable forehand, her 25th winner.
Unseeded Swiatek, who was ranked 54th at the start of the tournament, is the youngest woman to win the French Open since Monica Seles in 1992 and the first to do so without dropping a set during the fortnight since Justine Henin in 2007.
After claiming victory she made her way into the stands to celebrate with her family including former Olympic rower father Tomasz and her coach Piotr Sierzputowski.
“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, the lowest-ranked woman to win the French Open since rankings were introduced in 1975, said after returning to the court.
“Another underdog wins a Grand Slam in women’s tennis, it’s crazy.”
It was a sad end to the tournament for Kenin who was unable to find the form that saw her past Petra Kvitova in the semi-finals.