Roland-Garros: Iga Swiatek brings down Sofia Kenin and wins her first Grand Slam title

For the first title of her career, the 19-year-old Polish woman, Iga Swiatek did strong by winning the Suzanne-Lenglen Cup. And this, in just two participations. Unperturbed on the court, Iga Swiatek unrolled her score like a regular at these meetings. For his first Grand Slam final, Iga Swiatek started very strong. Very aggressive, she broke from the start Sofia kenin, confirming behind his service. Opposite, the American did not seem quite back in her game. After three perfect first plays, the Polish got out of hand, making several rather gross unforced errors. An irregularity that allowed Sofia Kenin, led 3-0, to pick up the score, 3 everywhere.

If they had already crossed swords in 2016 in the junior table at Roland Garros, a meeting which had also turned to the advantage of the Polish, it was the first time that they were opposed on the circuit. And for this first, it is the Polish, once again, who knew how to play with the nerves of the American, by attacking all her balls, by forcing her to move and pushing her to the fault. Iga Swiatek was everywhere, present on all balls, fast in his movements, finding solutions even in danger on certain points, and regaling with his overpowered forehands. Sofia Kenin was simply facing a wall that was throwing everything back at her. What disgust the American, who struggled to conclude on important points.

Imperturbable swiatek

Led 4-3, with Swiatek advantage, Sofia Kenin began to roar on the court, like a lioness who had been taken her child. This rage to win, facing the tranquility of Swiatek, clearly showed the difficulty of the world number 6. But his iron mind saved him a set point, but was not enough to turn the tide in the first set, won by Iga Swiatek in 49 minutes. More initiative and success, she made 13 winning moves against 6 for Sofia Kenin.

Still as confident in her game, Iga Swiatek continued to dominate the game to start the second set 2-1, after being broken from the start by Kenin. At the change of sides, the American requested medical treatment, visibly affected in the thigh. The American then returned strapped to the thigh. Iga Swiatek, meanwhile, did not disassemble, and returned to the court to practice serving. The Polish never trembled and even rolled into the second set, the American giving her a lot of unforced errors. It took him only one match point to win. Sofia Kenin simply couldn’t do anything.

Swiatek clearly dominated this Parisian fortnight. By not losing any set throughout the tournament, she equalized the performance of Justine henin in 2007, the last woman to have lifted the title in Paris without conceding a single set.

A surprise finale

It was a singular final in many ways this Saturday on the Philippe Chatrier court. First, because for the first time since the 2008 Australian Open (with Maria Sharapova against Ana Ivanovic), a Grand Slam final pitted two players under 22 against each other. At Roland Garros, it was even necessary to go back to 2003 with Justine Henin against Kim Clijsters. A final certainly rejuvenated, but which did not lack spectacle.

If Sofia Kenin had the advantage of having already played a Grand Slam final and therefore knowing how to manage the pressure of this type of meeting, it was nevertheless Iga Swiatek, a novice in the field, who led from a masterful hand this game.

A record list at just 19

With this first Grand Slam title now acquired, Iga Swiatek became the first Polish player – male or female for that matter – to win a Grand Slam singles title. She is also only the second Polish to reach the final in Paris, following in the footsteps Jadwiga Jędrzejowska, who failed to lift the cup in Paris in 1939. Through all the Grand Slams, she is also the first Polish to reach a final since her compatriot Agnieszka Radwańska at Wimbledon 2012.

But the enumeration does not stop there as its course is symbolic and impresses. Ranked 54th in the world, she also became the lowest ranked player in Roland Garros history to win the trophy. Another feat. Before her, this distinction went to Latvian Jeļena Ostapenko, ranked 47th in the world when she won Porte d’Auteuil in 2017. Even before them, in 1977, the Romanian Florența Mihai, 56th in the world, had qualified for the final at Roland Garros, but then lost.

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At 19 and 4 months, she is also the youngest finalist at Roland Garros for 19 years and the qualification of Kim Clijsters in 2001 at just 18 years old. So young, and already the soul of a winner. His coolness on the court for his first final shows his maturity. His victory in Paris will finally make him a good in the WTA ranking. On Monday, she will enter the Top 20 in 17th place. The icing on the cake for a perfect fortnight.

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