Swiatek soars to historic maiden Slam

Teenager becomes Poland's first major singles winner with victory over fourth seed Kenin in Roland-Garros final.

Iga Swiatek kissing her trophy Roland-Garros 2020©Corinne Dubreuil/FFT
 - rolandgarros.com

Iga Swiatek has capped a dream fortnight to secure her maiden Grand Slam title, beating fourth seed Sofia Kenin in straight sets in the Roland-Garros final on Saturday.

The unseeded 19-year-old withstood relentless ball-striking from the American to prevail 6-4, 6-1 and become the first Grand Slam champion from Poland.

“First of all I’m not very good at speeches so sorry because I won my last tournament like three years ago and I really don’t know who to thank, but I want to thank every person that’s made this tournament possible because in these times it was pretty hard for the federation, the organisation to do the tournament," Swiatek said.

"I’m pretty happy we can still do our job, and enjoy and entertain people so thank you very much. It’s crazy for me because I was watching every year how Rafa lifts the trophy so it’s crazy that I’m in the same place but I want to thank all the fans and the people who are watching in Poland. I know it’s pretty crazy back home.”

Swiatek is the first woman since Justine Henin in 2007 to clinch the title without conceding a set and only the second unseeded champion at Roland-Garros, after Jelena Ostapenko three years ago. Like Ostapenko, it also marked her first tour title.

She will rise from her current mark of No.54 in the rankings to world No.17.

“I’m so happy and I’m so glad that my family was here finally and I don’t know, it’s just overwhelming for me,” Swiatek said. “Two years ago, I won the junior Grand Slam [at Roland-Garros] and now I’m here.

"It feels like such a short time. I’m just overwhelmed. Thanks for cheering it was such an amazing final. I was just mentally consistent, and I just wanted to play aggressive as in previous rounds. Today was really stressful for me so it was kind of hard.

“Maybe it had to be that another underdog had to win a grand slam in women’s tennis right now. It’s crazy.”

After bolting out of the blocks for 3-0, Swiatek was reeled back in as Australian Open champion Kenin began to find her range on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The teenager again secured the break and held a set point on serve, only to be broken at 5-3. Her missed chance did not prove costly as she broke the American’s serve for the third time to secure the opening set after 50 minutes.

Kenin had fought through four three-set matches from her six matches coming into the final, including twice from a set down, and began the second set with a break.

But it was the only time she would lead all set. Following an off-court injury time-out to have her leg re-strapped, Kenin was unable to break the Pole's momentum as she powered through the second set in just 31 minutes.

More to come…