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2021 - On defending her maiden Grand Slam

Suzanne Lenglen Cup

The beautiful Suzanne Lenglen Cup presented to the Women's Singles Champion of the French Open - image courtesy of Roland Garros and © of Sylvain Bardin-FFT

French Open: Iga Świątek on defending title, pressure & why Rafael Nadal is on her wall

By Sonia Oxley |BBC Sport |Last updated on 24th May 2021 24 May 2021 | From the section Tennis

French Open 2021 - Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 30th May-13th June

BBC Review of French Open 2020

Iga Świątek became Poland's first Grand Slam singles champion by beating Sofia Kenin 6-4 6-1 to win the 2020 French Open - image sourced from & © of Getty Images with thanks

There is a picture of Rafael Nadal hanging on the wall along with one of his signed shirts - it's a pretty ordinary teenaged tennis fan's bedroom. There is also a French Open trophy. Because, if you ask Iga Świątek where she keeps the silverware from her maiden major win in 2020, there really is only one suitable place.

"It's kind of funny because I won a Grand Slam and I'm competing every week on tour, but you know, I'm a teenager and it's in my room in my dad's house because I still haven't moved out," the Polish 19-year-old tells BBC Sport. "It's a contrast but it shows that we're human. My trophy stays there and it probably still will when I move out because that's the right place and it shows how much my parents have done since I was a kid." The effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the tennis calendar means that Świątek will be defending her title next week just seven months after winning it, rather than a year later. Having won admirers for her cool head on her way to winning the Roland Garros title without dropping a set, it is unsurprising that she is taking this in her stride too.

"When you win a Grand Slam everybody will always remember that you won a Grand Slam," she says. "I don't think of it like I have to defend the trophy and win the French Open because what I did is always going to be with me." 'Harder to deal with success than losing' Świątek was the world number 54 when she became the lowest-ranked woman to win the French Open title.

Next week she will go into the tournament ranked a career-high ninth in the world, with two more titles to her name - including this month's Italian Open - and with a greater weight of expectation. She has often attributed some of her Roland Garros success to her work with her sports psychologist, Daria Abramowicz, and that was who she turned to after the victory that "completely changed" her life. "Daria helped me a lot with all the expectations and all the stuff that was bothering me after the French Open because actually I realised that sometimes it's harder to deal with success than the times you are losing," Świątek says. "Sometimes with my own expectations it's hard but then I have to remind myself that I just have to focus on work and just remember why I play tennis and have fun on court because sometimes I feel like I'm not playing for myself and that's not a good thing. "I just have to find that space where I just calm myself and remind myself that hopefully in two years I'm just going to be constantly in that mood when I just don't worry and I'm just having fun because I think that's what the biggest champions do, they just don't care and they just play and focus on their job." And if she needs any more tips on how to deal with the pressure of being a defending champion, she can turn to her good friend and four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.

"Naomi texted me after the French Open to say if I need anything then I can always ask her and she would understand perfectly because she has been in a situation like that," she says. "It's good to know you have the option." There have been 12 different names on the past 16 women's Grand Slam singles trophies, and the last female player to successfully defend a major singles title was Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2016. "It's hard to be defending champion for sure, especially in women's tennis - I think with all the champions we kind of lack a consistency for a little bit," Świątek said. So, would she rather win a different Grand Slam than defend her French title? "I wish I had problems like that," she laughs. "I think it would be nice to win another Grand Slam because I know I can play on clay court but for the past few years I was trying to improve my game on hard courts, and it's going pretty well and it would be a nice confirmation to me that I'm doing a great job. "But also winning on grass would be pretty crazy for me because even though I won junior Wimbledon [in 2018], I still don't understand that surface very well, so that would be really crazy but I would love to win Wimbledon."

There is also the additional possibility of Olympic success this summer, something which would have added significance for Świątek, whose dad Tomasz rowed at the 1988 Seoul Games. "For me it's a very important goal for this year," she says. "For sure [having an Olympian dad] changed my perspective because when I was younger I heard stories of his experience there. "I hope he is going to be there but because of Covid it's hard to have as many people around you at tournaments, but his experience for sure would help so we are going to try and see how we're going to handle that." If her dad has to stay at home, he can at least look after those trophies in his daughter's room - and the Nadal memorabilia, even if Świątek wonders what the Spanish 20-time Grand Slam champion himself would make of it. "It's kind of creepy," she said. "But I hope he doesn't find it that way!"

From the Roland Garros official Web-site

Current and former Champions roll-call

French Open Champions - image sourced from the French Open web-site with thanks

Poland's first: Świątek completes run for the ages

Saturday 10 October 2020 - Chris Oddo

The 19-year-old Pole is her nation's first-ever Grand Slam singles champion - Iga Świątek finished Roland-Garros just like she started it: in full flight - and without a blemish.

The 19-year-old toppled 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin on Saturday 6-4, 6-1, to become the first Grand Slam singles champion from Poland, and the youngest Roland-Garros women's singles champion since Monica Seles in 1992. "I don't know, it's just overwhelming for me," Świątek said after her victory on Court Philippe-Chatrier. "It's crazy. Two years ago I won a junior Grand Slam and right now I'm here. It feels like such a short time - I'm just overwhelmed." Świątek ran the table in Paris, dropping just 28 games to become the first player since Justine Henin to claim the Roland-Garos singles title without dropping a set. Ranked 54, Świątek becomes the second unseeded women's singles champion in Roland-Garros history, and the lowest-ranked to hoist the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen (since the rankings were introduced in 1975). "I'm just proud of myself," Świątek said. "I've done a great job in the past two weeks. I wasn't expecting to win this trophy. It's obviously amazing for me. It's a life-changing experience." She may have made her seven victories look easy but there were mental hurdles to clear for the precocious teenager. Świątek had to dial down her expectations after a disappointing stretch at the US Open, but after some purposeful soul-searching with her team, comprised of coach Piotr Sierzputowski and sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, she was able to ratchet down the pressure and strike the perfect competitive balance all week in Paris, and especially in her first Grand Slam final. "Everybody is stressed when they're playing Grand Slam finals," she said. "I just knew that Sofia may also be stressed, that she's not a machine. I was aware that we can both struggle, and we're probably not going to play our best tennis because it's hard with so much pressure."

Iga at Roland Garros with Flag and Trophy and reduced spectators

Iga at Roland Garros with Flag and Trophy and reduced spectators at the end of her maiden Grand Slam win - image © of Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

Forget pressure, Świątek just kept focusing on her tennis. "I just did everything I've done in the previous rounds," she said. "I focused on technique and tactics. I tried to get rid of expectations, just play one ball after another. I didn't really care if I'm going to lose or win." Playing just her seventh career Grand Slam main draw, Świątek becomes the first teenager to raise the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen in Paris since Iva Majoli in 1997. The fourth-seeded Kenin, who was bidding to become the first woman to win two Grand Slam titles in the same season since 2016, put her trademark grit on display in the opening set, as she rallied from 3-0 down to level the score. She threatened to break in the next game, pushing Świątek to deuce twice, but the teenager demonstrated her poise by wiggling out of trouble. Świątek then turned the pressure on Kenin. After a trade of breaks she snatched the final four points of the set with Kenin serving at 4-5 to lock up the opening set in 53 minutes. "I knew it's going to be tough in the final," Świątek said. "I didn't want to stress a lot about it, so I just told myself that I don't care and I tried to believe in that. I think at the end I really just enjoyed the moment. It's not that I don't care if I'm going to win or lose, I'm just not thinking about it all the time. I'm focusing on the things I do right now because winning is just an effect of my work that I'm doing every minute."

When the second set commenced the free-flowing athleticism of Świątek took centre stage. There was a skip in her step as she cracked winners with authority and went on the attack against Kenin's serve. The fourth-seeded American, who went off court to have her left thigh retaped after the third game, couldn't come up with a proper reply to Świątek's forceful game. The Pole cracked 12 winners against four unforced errors in the second set and won 12 of 15 return points to run away with the match. "She obviously played a really good match," Kenin said. "She's really hot right now, playing some really great tennis. I'm not going to use this as an excuse, but my leg obviously was not the best. It's obviously disappointing." Świątek will rise to a career-high ranking of 17 in the world on Monday. She'll also be a celebrity when she returns to her native Poland. Not bad for two weeks' work. "For sure it's, like, inspiring," Świątek said. "I know that there are no limits. Even though you're really young and you're an underdog, you can do a lot in a sport like tennis."

2020 - Poland honours Iga

Iga receiving her Gold Cross of Valour from President Duda

Iga and the President of Poland

Tenisistka Iga Świątek została odznaczona przez prezydenta Andrzeja Dudę - Tennis player Iga Świątek receives her Gold Cross of Valour from the Polish President Andrzej Duda

Gallery - Przeglad Sportowy Magazine

French Open 2020 Graphics

Iga Wins Roland Garros 2020

Sports Magazine 13th October 2020

Przegląd Sportowy Magazine 13th October 2020

Sports Magazine 10th October 2020

Przegląd Sportowy Magazine 10th October 2020

Sports Magazine 9th October 2020

Przegląd Sportowy Magazine 9th October 2020

Sports Magazine 6th October 2020

Przegląd Sportowy Magazine 6th October 2020

Sports Magazine 6th October 2020

Przegląd Sportowy Magazine 6th October 2020

Sports Magazine 5th October 2020

Przegląd Sportowy Magazine 5th October 2020

They're Calling it 'Poland Garros'

Iga Swiatek Champion of Roland Garros

Iga Swiatek Champion of Roland Garros showing scores of the win

Images created by, © of and sourced from the US Open Tennis Championships Fb page with thanks

Iga on Court with her trophy

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - October 10, 2020. Poland's Iga Świątek kisses the trophy as she celebrates after winning the French Open. Image and strapline as it appeared on the Morung Express website - © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Screenshot of podium

Evocative image from a screenshot during Eurosport 1's live transmission of the match and subsequent trophy presentations

Champions Corner: 'I felt I could do anything' - Swiatek surveys Paris

Champion Iga with trophy at the Eiffel Tower

Image sourced from the WTA website - © of Getty Images

2020 Roland Garros Champion Iga Swiatek explains how a total team effort and a change in mentality fueled the 19-year-old's historic run to her maiden title.

By Courtney Nguyen - WTA Insider

2020 Roland Garros champion Iga Świątek joins the WTA Insider Podcast after her stunning run to her maiden major title in Paris. The 19-year-old became the youngest woman since Monica Seles to win Roland Garros on Saturday, defeating Sofia Kenin, 6-4, 6-1, and became the first player from Poland to become a Grand Slam singles champion. Świątek won all 14 sets she played and dropped just 28 games over seven matches, the most dominant run in Paris since Stefanie Graf's 1988 run to the title, which saw the German legend lose just 20 games. As Świątek explains, this was a total team effort in Paris. From the tactical plans put together by her coach Piotr Sierzputowski, to the mental work she's done with sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, to Świątek's own flawless execution, hear how Team Świątek threw down one of the most dominant runs to a major title in modern tennis history.

WTA Insider: What was going on through your mind on match point?
Świątek: Basically, during match point I kinda lost my focus for the first time during this tournament because I knew I was really close to winning this match and being a champion. I kinda lost my focus right before the point but I tried to come back and I did everything as I was doing in the previous matches because it worked. I knew that winning or losing was just going to be the effect. So I kept working hard and focusing on the smallest things that are going to lead me to victory. "It's easy to say to focus on your legs or the movement or the tactics, but I think the easy solutions are the best solutions. I've done what my team told me to do. I trusted them for the whole tournament."

WTA Insider: You said throughout the tournament that you were able to keep your focus throughout the fortnight by focusing on the small things and not getting caught up in the bigger picture. Now that it's done, has it hit you?
Świątek: Actually no, it hasn't yet. I think it's going to hit me in a few days. It hit me a little bit yesterday in the evening because I felt I was really close, but Sofia is playing a really great tournament and it's going to be so tough. Everything is new for me so I felt like there's a chance that I won't be able to handle it. But I talked to Daria about it and we worked that through. We came back to basics and we came back to doing the things I've done before. It's easy to say to focus on your legs or the movement or the tactics, but I think the easy solutions are the best solutions. I've done what my team told me to do. I trusted them for the whole tournament. Because sometimes when Daria was talking about things like that I thought, oh it's too easy, I'm not going to win a Grand Slam just thinking about my legs. But I've done that. So it's working.

WTA Insider: You mentioned Daria. Today is World Mental Health Day and it's her birthday. In what way did you feel like the mental work you've done came through for you during these two weeks?
Świątek: Obviously I wasn't consistent this year. Basically this was the first tournament that I felt I'm comfortable on court. For sure I felt going back to tennis after the COVID break that my mental game is in the right place because I did a great pre-season during lockdown. That was the first time I didn't have any injury after pre-season so I felt like I must do some great success because I'm playing so well. Actually, that was really wrong. It took me three weeks in the States to realize that. Then I kind of needed to rest because I did some huge mental work, so we went back to Warsaw. It was better but also I had my expectations really high. I think I changed everything just when we came here. I realized being in that wrong mindset isn't going to help me. But also I felt that I don't have the power to change my way of thinking. So I also needed to understand that I can change anything in my mind in, like, 30 seconds and it's going to be better. So I did that. My first match I wasn't really confident because of the things I had to work through but it got better every day here. After the Round of 16 win over Simona I felt like I'm in the right place mentally and right now. I can win with anyone.

WTA Insider: It's one thing to see you play as an underdog and swing freely against Simona, but then to switch gears and have to play as the overwhelming favorite in the quarterfinals and semifinals, and then to switch gears again to play a reigning major champion in your first Slam final. You keep saying I just kept doing the same thing. You make it sound easy and it can't be that easy.
Świątek: It's not easy because you have to always be aware of what you're thinking on court. It's not easy because you have to be super focused to not let your mind fly away. I mean, the hardest thing was just believing that it can actually lead to a good thing. Sometimes I used to think too much and analyze things for an hour, the smallest things that I thought. When I started to believe it's not that hard and that easy solutions are going to work, it was easier for me. But in the beginning, trust me, during the US swing we were talking every day for an hour, what to change, how to think, when really, the easiest things worked. So it's pretty weird but it's true. "I think I knew in the back of my head that I can do pretty nice things on court, but also it's hard for me to be confident all the time."

WTA Insider: When did you realize how good of a tennis player you could be and what had to happen for you to realize that potential?
Świątek: Well I never realized that. There wasn't one moment. But also I realized that sometimes I felt bad and sometimes my confidence level was just really low and then I thought I'm not going to make it. Actually I had some thoughts like that at the Western & Southern after my loss in the first round. So even though I knew I have potential and I knew that I can win big tournaments, because I won junior Wimbledon in 2018, I still had my doubts. I think I knew in the back of my head that I can do pretty nice things on court, but also it's hard for me to be confident all the time. So right now I'm going to focus on that consistency. I want to believe in myself for the whole time and for every tournament. So we're going to work on that because I know that it's weird that you can win a Grand Slam and lose in the first round in Rome or Western and Southern. So I really want to be consistent. I think for my whole career, the junior Wimbledon taught me a lot, the whole experience. I think back then during this week I actually felt almost the same as here. I just felt like I could do anything. I just want to have that feeling on every tournament and be more consistent.

WTA Insider: Your coach Piotr told reporters you have great instincts on the court and sometimes technique and tactics don't matter to you. You can put the ball where you want to put it. What does it look like when you're playing on instinct?
Świątek: I'm aware that I have great instincts but actually in this tournament I think the tactics helped me a lot. Sometimes I just don't think and I just play my game because usually I know where to play and I have my own idea of how it should work. But to be honest, in previous tournaments even though Coach Piotr told me tactics I tend to do exactly the opposite. In this tournament I trusted him and I did 100% in every match what he told me. I think to get the success you need to have to have a mix of instincts and a mix of smart game and tactics to achieve something. I know I have instincts and I know that I should work on using tactics a little bit more. I think in this tournament I did everything pretty well.

WTA Insider: How are you going to celebrate the victory?
Świątek: Right now we're going to go to a restaurant. I don't know if we're going to celebrate my win or Daria's birthday, but we're just going to sit and think about the two weeks and cry about how tired we are and how we want to go back to our hotel rooms. But we're going to sit in a restaurant and we're going to eat a cake. But actually, Daria doesn't know about that so don't tell her. But I think we're going to celebrate more after we're back home and we rest a little bit and we see how crazy it is in Poland.

Iga and her crew celebrating the French Open win

Party time for Świątek and her Crew - image courtesy & © of Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

2020 - French Open 2020 - 'After beating Simona Halep, I knew I could beat anyone,' says Iga Swiatek

French Open champion Iga Swiatek has opened up on her historic victory, admitting that once she had beaten top seed Simona Halep in the round of 16, she thought she 'could beat anyone'. The 19-year-old is the youngest woman to win at Roland Garros since Monica Seles, and is Poland's first ever Grand Slam singles champion.

By Eurosport UK | 12th October 2020 | Updated 12th October 2020

Iga Twitter account victory at Roland Garros

Iga Świątek has opened up on her historic French Open singles victory in which she became Poland's first ever Grand Slam singles champion and the youngest woman to win at Roland Garros since Monica Seles. The 19-year-old beat top seed Simona Halep on her way to the final, where she defeated number four Seed Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1. Remarkably, she didn't drop a set during the tournament. "Basically this was the first tournament that I felt I'm comfortable on court," Świątek told WTA Insider. "My first match I wasn't really confident because of the things I had to work through but it got better every day here."

Iga Twitter account in Paris

"After the Round of 16 win over Simona I felt like I'm in the right place mentally and right now. I can win with anyone. It's easy to say to focus on your legs or the movement or the tactics, but I think the easy solutions are the best solutions. I've done what my team told me to do. I trusted them for the whole tournament. I'm aware that I have great instincts but actually in this tournament I think the tactics helped me a lot. Sometimes I just don't think and I just play my game because usually I know where to play and I have my own idea of how it should work. But to be honest, in previous tournaments even though Coach Piotr told me tactics I tend to do exactly the opposite. In this tournament I trusted him and I did 100% in every match what he told me. I think to get the success you need to have to have a mix of instincts and a mix of smart game and tactics to achieve something. I know I have instincts and I know that I should work on using tactics a little bit more. I think in this tournament I did everything pretty well. Even though I knew I have potential and I knew that I can win big tournaments, because I won junior Wimbledon in 2018, I still had my doubts. I think I knew in the back of my head that I can do pretty nice things on court, but also it's hard for me to be confident all the time. So right now I'm going to focus on that consistency. I want to believe in myself for the whole time and for every tournament. So we're going to work on that because I know that it's weird that you can win a Grand Slam and lose in the first round in Rome or Western and Southern. So I really want to be consistent. I think for my whole career, the junior Wimbledon taught me a lot, the whole experience. I think back then during this week I actually felt almost the same as here. I just felt like I could do anything. I just want to have that feeling on every tournament and be more consistent." - Source : Eurosport

Iga, her trophy and the Eiffel Tower

Iga Świątek z trofeum French Open - Image credit: Getty Images

Read more : On top in the City of Light Iga Świątek and the French Open Trophy

2020 - 11th October - WTA

Iga and the French Open Trophy

Iga Świątek - image as used on the WTA website - Image credit: Getty Images

'Destined for more' - The world's media observes Swiatek's surge

Writers on the scene added Iga Swiatek to the burgeoning youth movement in women's tennis, after she romped to the Roland Garros title without the loss of a set.

Eurosport Studio

By WTA Staff - 2020 Roland Garros October 11, 2020

- PARIS, France -- Iga Świątek's two-week journey from dangerous floater to Grand Slam champion at Roland Garros captivated the media after she stormed to the French Open title with her seventh consecutive straight-set win over Sofia Kenin. "There are breakthroughs and then there are raids," wrote Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim. "At the 2020 French Open, we got an example of the latter. Ranked outside the top 50 and without a pro title in her brief career, Iga Świątek came to Paris and blazed through the draw, dropping no sets. In the biggest match of her life, she sustained her level, marrying courtcraft with unanswerable power and rolling over an opponent," Wertheim continued.
- SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ: 'A star is born' - History-making Świątek lauded after French Open win
"Świątek came out of the blocks on the most auspicious occasion of her career and performed with the same verve, tenacity and stability she had demonstrated all tournament long," Steve Flink at concluded. Just earlier in the tournament, the World No.54 "was unsure whether she would commit to tennis long term or go to university," stated Matthew Henry at BBC. "Now the 19-year-old is a Grand Slam champion." Świątek is projected to rise to World No.17 on Monday's new singles rankings. Świątek has never shied away from discussing her work with her traveling sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, and in Paris, the mental work, along with the physical work, paid off for the 19-year-old. "Mental coaches are nothing new in tennis," said Ava Wallace of the Washington Post. "But to travel with one at such a young age, without having won so much as a single title on the WTA before this French Open, is noteworthy. For Świątek, it made a world of difference." "Świątek is, rightly, open about the mental dimension to sports," Wertheim pointed out in his piece. "And Abramowicz had great advice following Świątek's semifinal win: don't look at your phone." Świątek also thrilled an entire country, becoming the first-ever Grand Slam singles champion from Poland, on either the women's or men's tours. As the Polish national anthem rang out during the trophy ceremony, a masked Świątek "could not contain her smile, which creased her eyes as the song played on," said Karen Crouse of the New York Times. Crouse added that Świątek "was swift to point out that she was merely extending a path that had been paved by others," specifically former World No.2 Agnieszka Radwańska.
- STATS CORNER: How dominant was Świątek's Roland Garros run?
"As Świątek stood on the podium on Court Philippe Chatrier with the Polish national anthem playing through the speakers, tennis crowned its newest star," said D'Arcy Maine of ESPN. "In women's tennis, there have been several first-time major champions over the past few years, including Kenin, but few have been as convincing and destined for more." Indeed, a prevailing theme amongst pundits was Świątek's worthy addition to a cluster of youngsters who have been collecting the Grand Slam titles of late. 19-year-old Świątek joins 20-year-old Bianca Andreescu, 21-year-old Kenin, and 22-year-old Naomi Osaka as the winners of the last four Grand Slam events. "In some ways, women's tennis has not been open for the past two years," wrote The Guardian's Tumaini Carayol. "The youth have arrived and they are consistently slamming the door on the rest." "The common denominator between them is the contempt they have shown for custom and experience," Carayol continued. "They are here, they are good enough, and they will produce their best on the big stages in order to win."

Iga and Celebs in the Eurosport Studio

l to r Iga, Barbara Schett, a virtual Tim Henman and Sofia Kenin with Chris Evert in the background in the Eurosport Studio

2020 - 11th October - The Sports Review

- French Open 2020: Super Iga Świątek sweeps past Sofia Kenin for debut title in Paris
- Nineteen-year-old Świątek, the lowest-ranked woman to win the French Open, will now break top 20

By Marianne Bevis Sunday, 11th October 2020 UK

How many of the lucky 1,000 Roland Garros ticket holders would, two weeks ago, have predicted the final line-up for this year's cold, autumnal French Open? After all, Serena Williams was back to try and win that record 24th Major. Top seed Simona Halep had won the Prague and Rome titles back-to-back and was hot favourite to regain her French title—and with it the No1 ranking. What about the resurgent Victoria Azarenka—Cincinnati champion and US Open runner-up—or the in-form former champion Garbine Muguruza?

Perhaps No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin, the fresh-faced winner of the Australian Open nine months ago, was in the reckoning, for she had bounced back from lockdown to reach the fourth round at the US Open. Yet in this abbreviated season, she had also lost four times in the first-round of the six tournaments she had played since Melbourne. She also had to battle hard throughout the draw despite not playing a seed until the semi-finals. Then, after going the full three sets four times, she beat Petra Kvitova in truly impressive style. Still only 21 years old, she is also a player who thrives on the big stage and against the most demanding competition, and had won five of her six finals thus far. She was now the youngest player to reach two Major finals in the same year since 2008, and victory would make her the youngest two-time Major winner in a single year since 2003. In the last two years, she was certainly one among a group of young women making some noise at the top of tennis. And with fellow Major champions Naomi Osaka, Ash Barty and Bianca Andreescu opting out of this COVID-postponed French Open, and then Halep knocked out by Iga Świątek, Kenin had gradually improved her status as top dog.

Ah, but Świątek. The former Wimbledon junior champion may have come to Paris ranked 54, without a main-tour title to her name, and with only a limited profile on the broader tennis stage, but round by round, she had begun to capture the attention, and capture the imagination with her silky-smooth, power-and-touch game. Still only 19 years old, and until this spring combining her high-school studies with pro tennis, she was making an impression in Paris in both singles and doubles—she made the semis of the latter draw. But it was the style and quality of her singles run that had everyone talking up her chances of an extraordinary victory, first beating 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondrousova, then Halep in the fourth round. And thus far, Świątek had not dropped a set in the tournament, indeed had only once been taken to 6-4 in a set.

The lowest-ranked woman finalist in 43 years stressed: "I never would've thought I'm going to be in the final. It's crazy." Yet she exuded a calm confidence that told a different story, as did a different quote: "On one hand I know that I can play great tennis. On the other hand, it's kind of surprising for me. I just kept believing in myself."

Świątek started her final match in Paris as she had done every other, with a serene demeanour and attacking precision. A love hold was followed by a break of Kenin courtesy of some blistering returns and a drop shot winner, and then another easy hold: 3-0. The feisty Kenin, by far the more vocal and expressive of the two, hit back with her own break and two holds, 3-3. The American's pace and intensity seemed to force Świątek into a few errors, particularly on the Pole's serve. It took her seven minutes, several deuces and a couple of outstanding drop shots, but the teenager finally held, and then turned on her full array of shot-making. Another long game, and the Pole soaked up the power, varied the direction and angle, picked off a touch volley return, and broke, 5-3. But a double fault suggested more nerves than she showed, and Kenin pumped up her returns for an instant break-back.

Time for Świątek to produce all her court-craft—now a short ball, now a lob—and she forced Kenin to over-hit and concede a break for the set, 6-4. The American came back from a comfort break with her attacking mindset intact, and fired off two fine returns of serve to convert a break chance—only to offer up 15-40 with a double fault. On the second opportunity, Świątek slotted an off-backhand winner, 1-1, and held to edge the lead, 2-1. Now, though, Kenin called the trainer to assess a thigh strain—and the American had worn support tape on her left thigh through most of the tournament—and she returned with heavier strapping around her upper leg. Meanwhile, Świątek had kept loose and relaxed, responding to some crowd support, making a few serves, ghosting some backhands. It is hard to play against a compromised opponent, and Kenin now lacked some of her intensity and speed around the baseline, but Świątek was able to take advantage. She broke and then held to love, 4-1. A love break, and the young Polish woman who had won the hearts and support of the Paris fans, would serve for the title. And she did not blink: her 25th winner sealed the deal, 6-1. She sank to her knees and hid her face in her hands: The cool, calm and collected star of this year's Roland Garros now turned into an overwhelmed teenager.

Iag FO Champion with trophy

2020 French Open - Day Fourteen
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 10: Iga Świątek of Poland lifts the Suzanne-Lenglen cup following victory in her Women's Singles Final against Sofia Kenin of The United States of America on day fourteen of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on October 10, 2020 in Paris, France. © Photo by Clive Brunskill/ Strapline & image : Getty Images

She had a quick word with the umpire, apparently seeking permission to go and hug her family and coach. It was a delightful moment, capped only by the uncertainty of her acceptance speech—though delivered in perfect English. She began: "I don't know what is going on. I am so happy and so glad my family was here finally. It is crazy. Two years ago I won junior Grand Slam. Right now I am here. It feels like such a short time. I am just overwhelmed." Then, with the trophy in her hands—gently kissed before quickly replacing her mask—she said: "First of all I'm not very good at speeches because I won my last tournament two years ago and I don't know who to thank… "It's crazy for me because I watched Rafael Nadal lift the trophy every year, and now I'm in the same place." It is worth a reminder that this young woman did not drop a set this fortnight, indeed dropped no more than five games in any match. She has become the lowest-ranked woman to win the French Open, and the first player from Poland to win any Major singles title. It is probably safe to say that she will be in that same place, on the winner's podium, a few more times yet.

Iga at the French Open post-match interview

Iga at her post-Championship Match interview - YouTube screengrab as used on The Sport Review

2020 - 11th October - Amerykanskie media zachwycone Iga Swiatek. "Była brutalnie skuteczna"

America's Media are enthralled by Iga Swiatek. "She was brutally efficient"

Iga and trophy

Iga Świątek wygrała w sobotę swój pierwszy wielkoszlemowy turniej - Iga Świątek won her maiden Grand Slam tournament on Saturday - image and strapline as it appeared on the website

Amerykańskie media zachwycają się stylem zwycięstwa Igi Świątek w paryskim French Open. Przypominają, że polska tenisistka dopiero w czerwcu zdała maturę i jest najmłodszą triumfatorką tego turnieju od 1992 roku. "Trudno uwierzyć? Możliwe. To w końcu był dopiero jej siódmy wielki turniej, a wcześniej nigdy nie wyszła poza czwartą rundę" - napisała po finałowym meczu z Amerykanką Sofią Kenin (6:4, 6:1) o Świątek agencja Associated Press. Jednak - jak dodała AP - styl gry Polki w trakcie turnieju "spowodował, że końcowy wynik nie jest aż taką niespodzianką".

Poprawiła kilka rekordów Oprócz słów uznania dla gry Świątek media w USA przypominają też, że polska mistrzyni dopiero w tym roku ukończyła liceum, a w czerwcu zdała maturę. I swoim triumfem w Paryżu poprawiła kilka rekordów. Świątek jest pierwszą kobietą, która wygrała wielki turniej bez straty seta od 2007 roku. Wtedy Belgijka Justine Henin podobnie "suchą stopą" przeszła przez French Open i US Open. Polka jest też najmłodszym czempionem na kortach im. Rolanda Garrosa od pierwszego sukcesu Hiszpana Rafaela Nadala, zresztą jej tenisowego idola, w 2005 roku. Wśród kobiet młodszą niż Świątek triumfatorką French Open była ostatnio w 1992 roku Monica Seles. Dziennik "Wall Street Journal" odnotował, że 19-latka zwyciężczyni tegorocznego French Open od swojego pierwszego meczu turnieju spędziła na korcie mniej niż osiem i pół godziny. "Świątek była tak brutalnie skuteczna, że wyjeżdża z Paryża nie tracąc seta w jej siedmiu singlowych meczach" - podkreśliła nowojorska gazeta.

Praca z psychologiem Portal "New York Times" natomiast zwrócił uwagę, że Świątek przegrała w turnieju jedynie 28 gemów, a w żadnym spotkaniu nie więcej niż pięć. Przypomina zarazem, że w rywalizacji w stolicy Francji nie uczestniczyły czołowe tenisistki globu - Ashleigh Barty z Australii oraz Japonka Naomi Osaka. Z kolei w relacji z Paryża w "Washington Post" zwrócono uwagę, że nastolatka z Polski i jej otoczenie przykładają olbrzymią wagę do mentalnej strony gry w tenisa, co w równym stopniu pomogło pokonać bardziej doświadczone rywalki jak umiejętności czysto sportowe. Gazeta podkreśliła, że nawet w tym szczególnym roku, pełnym obostrzeń epidemicznych i wynikających z tego różnorakich ograniczeń, Świątek wszędzie towarzyszy psycholog sportowy. "Trenerzy mentalni nie są niczym nowym w tenisie. Jednak podróżowanie wszędzie z nim zawodniczki w tak młodym wieku i bez żadnego tytułu WTA przed triumfem we French Open jest godne uwagi" - wskazano i zaznaczono, że jednych ze źródeł sukcesu Polki były dobre samopoczucie i nastawienie do gry. "Świątek po koronę French Open sięgnęła w finale dokładnie w taki sposób, jak rozegrała sześć wcześniejszych meczów na kortach im. Rolanda Garrosa - piorunującymi uderzeniami z głębi kortu wykonanymi z laserową precyzją, mocnym topspinowym forhendem i poczuciem spokoju przeczącym brakowi doświadczenia w tenisowym tourze" - podsumował sukces stołeczny dziennik.

W poniedziałek dotychczasowa 54. rakieta świata zamelduje się na 17. miejscu klasyfikacji tenisistek.

Read more : Stats Corner: How dominant was Świątek's Roland Garros run?

2020 - 10th October - Fired Up By Guns N' Roses, Polish Teenager Iga Swiatek Wins French Open Without Dropping A Set

Adam Zagoria Contributor | 10th October, 2020

I'm a basketball and tennis insider

Part of Iga Świątek's routine at this French Open has been listening to "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses before every match. Even though she had gotten a little bored of the classic rock tune, Świątek didn't change her pattern all the way to the final. "I am still listening to Guns N'Roses' Welcome to the Jungle because I want to keep my routines," she said this week. "Actually I wanted to change it because right now it's kind of boring to listen every day to the same song. But yeah, I stayed with Guns N'Roses because I wanted to win." So Axl Rose and Slash get an assist after the unseeded Świątek defeated No. 4 Sofia Kenin, 6-4, 6-1, in the Roland Garros final to become the first Polish woman or man to win a Grand Slam crown. She did not drop a set en route to the title, and crushed No. 1 seed and 2018 champion Simona Halep, 6-1, 6-2, in the fourth round. The only time Świątek and Kenin met before was in the French Open junior tournament in 2016 when Świątek, then barely 15, beat Kenin 6-4, 7-5.

"I don't know what's going on. I'm so happy. I'm so glad that my family was here finally," she said in her on-court interview. "I don't know, it's just overwhelming for me. "It's crazy. Two years ago I won Junior Grand Slam [at Wimbledon] and right now I'm here. It feels like such a short time, so I'm just overwhelmed." Now ranked No. 54, was the lowest-ranked woman to make the final in 43 years. She had never won a title of any kind before and never advanced past the fourth round at a major. Now thanks to her big serve and big groundstrokes, the 5-foot-9 Świątek is the French Open champion and will rise to No. 17 in the world. Świątek entered with 2020 earnings of $431,619, but takes home a payday of $1,894,332 for winning the French.

"The way she's playing right now it's hard to imagine she won't win half a dozen majors," NBC's John McEnroe said on air. "It's incredible." Kenin, who was bidding to win her second major title of 2020 after capturing her maiden Slam at the Australian Open, takes home $947,166 as the runner-up. Świątek is the seventh different Roland Garros women's champion in the last seven years. During the past six, Rafael Nadal has won four titles and will play for a fifth in seven years on Sunday against rival Novak Djokovic. Świątek lists Nadal as her favorite player and posted video of herself once watching Nadal practice. If she was nervous for the final, Świątek did not show it. She jumped out to a 2-0 lead with an early break and then broke again for a 5-3 lead. After Kenin broke back to get to 4-5, Świątek held serve to take the first set. With Świątek leading 2-1 in the second set, Kenin left the court to get her left thigh treated and wrapped. Świątek continued to practice by herself on court and then won the next four straight games to take the match, closing it out with a forehand crosscourt winner. "I hope you're OK, I don't know if you're injured or anything," Świątek told Kenin on-court. "But you've made a great jump anyway in this tournament. I don't know if maybe there's a chance you would've played better without the injury. But I think I was just mentally consistent and I just wanted to play aggressive as in previous rounds. "I felt like today was really stressful for me, so it was kind of hard." Said Kenin: "I just wanted to congratulate Iga on a great tournament, a great match. You played really well and congrats to you and your team."

Świątek arrived at Roland Garros debating whether her future was in tennis or her studies. Now, school may be out permanently for her. "Right now it's going to be hard to make a decision to go back to studying because I feel like really I can achieve big things," she said. "I just want to focus on that. "But I'm only 19, so a lot can change during a few years. We are going to see. Maybe I'm going to be, like, hungry for knowledge. Really I'm not going to make decision right now." For now, she's a Grand Slam champion and she owes an assist to Guns N' Roses.

2020 - 10th October - What the pundits are saying already!

French Open 2020 - 'Iga Swiatek will win many more Grand Slams' - Wilander and Henman react

Polish sensation Iga Swiatek is only beginning her incredible career and has many more Grand Slams to win, Mats Wilander believes.

Tim Henman says it is the amazing self-belief that the 19-year-old possesses that means she could go on to dominate the women's game for many years to come after her triumph at Roland Garros.

By Dan Quarrell |10th October 2020| Updated: 10th October 2020

Iga Świątek is going to win many more Grand Slams after her brilliant triumph at the 2020 French Open, according to Mats Wilander and Tim Henman. Świątek became the first Pole to win a Grand Slam singles title as she beat Sofia Kenin 6-4 6-1 in quite brilliant fashion to clinch the trophy in style. The 19-year-old put in a breathtaking performance as she downed the American in a convincing victory to take the spoils at Roland Garros, and become the latest teenage champion in Paris. Wilander and Henman both spoke glowingly of the Pole's talent and potential in the Eurosport studio and speculated on what she could achieve.

"I think she can play such a good match because she can come to the net, she is comfortable at the net, she can hit the odd drop shot here and there so she knows she has Plan B and Plan C," Wilander said. Iga looked so relieved and also calm - she is going to win so many more [Slams]. You can see that in her demeanour throughout the whole finals. "You have to go back to someone like Serena Williams, who likes to hit the ball hard, but she can keep the ball in play and she can defend as well. Świątek can do that as well – she plays within herself yet can play very aggressively. "We know she is a great clay-court player with the style of game she has. The next question is how, on the faster courts and the grass courts, does her top spin work? "What can the other women do to her, can they take time away from Świątek? It doesn't look like it at the moment."

Henman added: "We've been waiting for Iga to unravel, but the way she came out, she got off to an unbelievable start. She never let up, and there was this amazing self-belief that she was going to get the title. Source :

Read more : French Open 2020 - 'What a story' - Tennis world reacts to Iga Świątek's Roland Garros 2020 glory!

Iga and Sofia 2020 French Open screenshot

Post Match Tweets!

All hail Queen Iga: Laver, King, Djokovic and more react to Pole's win

Saturday 10th October 2020 -

Iga Świątek is the toast of Twitter thanks to her stunning victory over Kenin in the Roland-Garros final on Saturday. Iga Świątek made history on Saturday as Poland's first-ever Grand Slam singles champion with victory over No.4 seed Sofia Kenin in the final. The 19-year-old is the youngest Roland-Garros women's winner since Monica Seles triumphed in Paris as an 18-year-old in 1992 and is the first teenager to lift the women's singles trophy here since Iva Majoli in 1997. Świątek, ranked 54 in the world, is the lowest-ranked women's Roland-Garros champion since the rankings were introduced in 1975. She is the first woman since Justine Henin in 2007 to lift the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen without dropping a set.

Here's how social media reacted to Świątek's stunning title triumph in the French capital.

Billie Jean King - Congratulations to @iga_swiatek on an incredible achievement! She's the 2020 #RolandGarros Women's Singles Champion!

Roland Garros - @iga_swiatek becomes the first Grand Slam singles champion from Poland and does not drop a set en route to her first career title 6-4 6-1 over Kenin. #RolandGarros

Rod Laver - Congratulations to young @rolandgarros champion @iga_swiatek - a nerveless performance from the Polish star and the first of many majors to come. Best wishes from afar

Novak Djokovic - Congratulations @iga_swiatek #RolandGarros

Chris Evert - Congratulations @iga_swiatek #RolandGarros

ATP Tour - Congratulations to the 2020 #RolandGarros women's champion @iga_swiatek, the first ever Polish Grand Slam champion!

Robert Lewandowski - What an amazing success, what a great story! Good job @iga_swiatek

Naomi Osaka - What an amazing success, what a great story! Good job @iga_swiatek

Tracy Austin - Wow!!! @iga_swiatek is such an amazing athlete-so offensive-hits so heavy-complete game already. A joy to watch-makes it look so easy. More Majors ahead!!

Aga Radwańska - Woowww!! Gratulacjeee

Caty McNally - IGA!!!!! @iga_swiatek so proud of you

Mary Pierce - Félicitations pour ton premier titre du Grand Chelem à @rolandgarros, @iga_swiatek ! Tellement heureuse pour toi. Congratulations Iga! I am honored to be able to present you with your first Grand Slam title at #RG20

Kim Clijsters - @iga_swiatek ooooh , what an amazing effort ! Loved watching you play and be fearless. Congrats on your first !

Roberta Vinci - I've known it since then Congratulations @iga_swiatek @rolandgarros #rg2020

Victoria Azarenka - Great job @iga_swiatek What a tournament!!! Champ

Ana Ivanovic - Congratulations on winning the French Open, @iga_swiatek. It was great fun watching your strong performance #RolandGarros @TennisChannel @TennisChanneli

Roland Garros announces the French Open Final 2020

2020 - The Match Preview as foreseen by Pam Shriver (who knows a lot about tennis!)

Shriver: Kenin-Swiatek could be tennis' next great rivalry

Friday 9th October 2020 - Ravi Ubha

American doubles legend breaks down the women's final match-up ahead of Saturday's intriguing showdown
The casual sports fan might not be overly familiar with Sofia Kenin and Iga Świątek, who meet in the women's final at Roland-Garros. But Pam Shriver says they should definitely tune in Saturday. "I think it could be an entertaining, great final," Shriver, the doubles legend, singles Grand Slam finalist and longtime ESPN broadcaster, told "We could have some great shot-making, great competitiveness and athleticism. "We're always wondering where the next great rivalry is going to be. Well, let's just wonder about this one because they are two years apart."

Świątek will be contesting her maiden Grand Slam final at 19 following a stellar junior career, while Kenin is 21. It marks the pair's first meeting in the top tier, four years removed from Świątek's third-round triumph over Kenin in the juniors at Roland-Garros when both were different players at earlier stages of their tennis journeys. The close proximity in age belies their paths to the finale. The 54th-ranked Świątek — the first Polish player in the Open Era to make the Roland-Garros final — has conceded only 23 games without losing a set. Her powerful forehand with spin has overwhelmed opponents. Kenin, the reigning Australian Open champion, meanwhile has posted four three-set wins and overcame fellow Grand Slam winner Petra Kvitova in Thursday's tight two-set semi-final. "If Świątek's forehand holds up in the pressure of a major final, that's what is going to give her the best chance," said Shriver. "Świątek has an edge on the forehands. Kenin has shored up her forehand so much the last two years but it can still go a bit wobbly. But I guess we know how Kenin shows up in major finals and big matches because she did in Melbourne." Indeed battling and rising to the occasion are something the former junior No.2 does extremely well, aside from generating ample power of her own by standing on or near the baseline and using her rivals' pace. Kenin lost her lone match on clay ahead of Roland-Garros 6-0, 6-0 to Victoria Azarenka — hardly the ideal preparation — and her turnaround wasn't lost on Shriver. "I don't know who has won or even been to a final of a major the next tournament after losing love and love," said Shriver. "That kind of shows you her mental strength again, so it's kind of a hard match to break down for sure because I haven't seen the match-up. But you can kind of imagine the form they've had in the last few matches, Iga obviously the whole tournament."

No one-hit wonder

Kenin has made adjustments this fortnight that could aid her in the final, according to another former player and veteran broadcaster, Sophie Amiach. "I think she's very adaptable to the surface," said Amiach, formerly coached by pioneer Billie Jean King. "I watched her play at the beginning of the tournament and thought, there's no way she is going to win this. She's playing 70 per cent down the line. This is not a hard court. You got to use the cross-court short. And little by little, if they were to look at her matches and where she was playing from day one to today, you'll see a lot more cross-court play. I said I thought that maybe Kenin is a one-hit wonder but she's showing that she's not, which is great. I am nicely surprised." Świątek sailing through the draw means she likely has ample physical reserves — even with going deep in doubles — but it raises the question: How will she respond in her first final at a major if doubles quarter-finalist Kenin starts better or wins the first set?" "What a problem to have!" said Shriver.

Andrea Hlavackova reached the doubles final at Roland-Garros unseeded in 2011 and without surrendering a set, like Świątek. The Czech said she and partner Lucie Hradecka never pondered that 'what if' scenario. "We never had that in our mind," Hlavackova said. "If the match starts a little bit on the wrong foot, you might get a little worried and think like, 'Until now it's been going so smooth'. But at the same time, she's saved a lot of energy." Hlavackova and Hradecka won their final, in straight sets.

If Saturday's contest goes the distance, the numbers align with Kenin, however. She holds a 10-3 record in third sets this year, winning her last six at Grand Slams, compared to Świątek's third-set tally of 1-1 at majors in 2020. An amazing achievement for both to get to the final but one will be happier come Saturday night in Paris.

2020 - 4th October - Swiat zachwycony sukcesem Swiatek.

"Jak najszybciej nauczcie sie tego nazwiska: EE-ga shvee-ON-tek"

04 października 2020

Iga Świątek w wielkim stylu pokonała Simonę Halep i awansowała do ćwierćfinału wielkoszlemowego turnieju French Open. Jej sukces odbił się dużym echem w mediach społecznościowych. "Simona Halep była niepokonana od stycznia. Świątek to nazwisko, które trzeba nauczyć się jak najszybciej wymawiać" - napisał na Twitterze dziennikarz "New York Timesa" Ben Rothenberg.

19-letnia Polka w wielkim stylu wyrzuciła za burtę Ronalda Garrosa drugą rakietę świata, wygrywając 6:1, 6:2. Niepokonana od 17 meczów, rozstawiona w turnieju z jedynką Halep była praktycznie bezradna. Eksperci pod wrażeniem Wielki sukces Świątek stał się tematem numer 1 w mediach społecznościowych. Nad jedyną nastolatką, która wciąż nie odpadła z turnieju i na paryskich kortach nie przegrała nawet seta, rozpływają się w zachwytach nie tylko kibice, ale również eksperci i dziennikarze. "Przystępując do turnieju w Paryżu, Simona Halep była niepokonana na mączce od stycznia, po drodze wygrywając turnieje w Pradze i Rzymie" - przypomina na Twitterze dziennikarz "New York Timesa" Ben Rothenberg. "Ale dziś nie miała odpowiedzi na Igę Świątek, zawodniczkę, której imię i nazwisko należy się nauczyć jak najszybciej wymawiać. EE-ga shvee-ON-tek" - instruował obcojęzyczną publiczność.

Tweet from American reporter Ben Rothenberg

Tweet from American reporter Ben Rothenberg

Pod wrażeniem gry Polki byli również komentujący jej mecz w Eurosporcie 1 Marek Furjan. "Niezwykłe przeżycie i piękna historia polskiego tenisa. Po Jędrzejowskiej, Tłoczyńskim, Fibaku, Radwańskiej, Kubocie i Janowiczu mamy kolejną singlistkę w ćwierćfinale Szlema. Poziom Igi? Kosmiczny. Dawno nikt nie wyrządził Halep takiej krzywdy na mączce" - napisał na Twitterze komentator Eurosportu.

Tweet from Eurosport Commentator Marek Furjan

Tweet from Eurosport Commentator Marek Furjan

Niebywałego sukcesu pogratulował jej też Hubert Hurkacz. "Brawo, Iga! Trzymaj tak do końca!" - napisał najlepszy polski singlista, który z paryskim turniejem pożegnał się już w pierwszej rundzie.

Tweet from fellow Pole Tennis competitor Herbert Hurkacz

Tweet from fellow Pole Tennis competitor Herbert Hurkacz

W ćwierćfinale rywalką Świątek (53. WTA) będzie Włoszka Martina Trevisan (159.).

Iga celebrates her victory over Halep

'A stunning revenge saw 19-year-old Swiatek strike 30 winners from every corner of the court to swat Halep away 6-1, 6-2; the Pole has dropped just 16 games on the way to her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal.' - Photo by Jimmie48/WTA

2020 - 4th October - Iga Swiatek stuns Simona Halep to reach last eight

By Press Association for the Daily Mail | Published: 4th October 2020 | Updated: 4th October 2020

Polish teenager Iga Świątek produced the performance of the tournament so far to defeat title favourite Simona Halep 6-1 6-2 and reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.

Fifth seed Kiki Bertens was also knocked out by Martina Trevisan, leaving Elina Svitolina as the only seed remaining in the top half of the draw.

Sebastian Korda was brutally dispatched 6-1 6-1 6-2 by his idol Rafael Nadal, who will next face 19-year-old Jannik Sinner after he knocked out an unwell Alexander Zverev. Third seed Dominic Thiem survived a five-setter against wild card Hugo Gaston.

2020 - 4th October - Simona Halep dumped out of French Open by Polish teenager Iga Swiatek

Source : The Guardian

- No 1 seed beaten 6-1, 6-2 by world No 56 in fourth round
- Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan beats fifth seed Kiki Bertens

Simona Halep stepped on to Court Philippe Chatrier at the start of day eight at Roland Garros as the logical favourite to drive on to her second French Open title, riding a career-best 17-match winning streak and playing outstanding tennis. A little over an hour later she was out of the tournament in the fourth round, and the remarkable Polish teenager Iga Świątek was celebrating a 6-1, 6-2 victory that not only swept her into the quarter-finals of a slam for the first time but elevated her to the top of the chasing pack in pursuit of the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.

It was a breathtaking performance. In a tournament that has already thrown up a string of surprises in both singles draws, it was the most remarkable. Many observers predicted a high-grade contest but not even Świątek's inner circle, probably, expected her to so completely dismantle the solid clay-court game of the top seed and world No 2, a champion here two years ago and at Wimbledon last summer. Świątek, the youngest player left in the women's draw at 19, oozes composure and self-belief beyond her years and a world No 56 ranking. In a composed courtside interview, she said: "I thought I was playing perfectly. I was so focused for the whole match even I was so surprised that I could do that."

Iga and Simona Roland Garros quarter-final 2020

Iga Świątek (right) announced herself as a title contender with a thumping victory over Simona Halep. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

Talking about her 45-minute blowout against Halep at the same stage last year, she said: "I wasn't experienced at all then. That was my first match in a big stadium, so I was pretty stressed. Since then I've made huge progress, because I've played a few big matches against Naomi Osaka and now Simona. It helped me a lot and right now I feel like I can handle the pressure. "But also I remember I lost to Simona here [6-1, 6-0] and she lost against Amanda [Asinimova] next round, so I thought maybe there would be the same scenario except kind of change the names around." And so it transpired. Świątek's challenge now is to husband her bubbling enthusiasm and form in the second week, after giving up just 13 games in four matches, and hold her nerve when the big prize gets closer. She next plays the Italian Martina Trevisan, who upset the fifth seed, Kiki Bertens, 6-4, 6-4. That good result was almost pedestrian by comparison. Roland Garros, though, is as much Świątek's comfort zone as it is Halep's. "This is my favourite tournament," the winner said. "When I was a junior, at 15, I played against older players and made it to the quarters, so this week is my dream come true for me – and I hope it's going to be longer."

Halep was nonplussed as all her previous good work in the tournament unravelled before her eyes. Indeed, she did not see some of it, so hard did her young opponent strike the ball. Świątek's quickest backhand was crossing the net at 76mph – as fast as the hardest-hitting player left in the men's draw, Dominic Thiem. Her 79mph forehand was just two miles an hour slower than the fastest male, Jannik Sinner. That is Serena Williams-level power. Świątek belted winner after winner in a lightning start. In little over half an hour, the Polish teenager was a set and two-love up – an irresistible performance at any level, but stunning against a two-time slam champion who loves clay. Halep practised on nothing else for five months during the lockdown, and skipped the US Open to prepare for Paris. Świątek's father, Tomasz, an Olympic rower who made her practise her tennis shots while balancing in the water on a board, will have been thrilled with her coordination and precision. It was not until the eight-minute third game of the second set that Halep scrambled back into the fight, saving four break points. It only got tougher for Halep as Świątek broke her at the sixth attempt for 4-1. Time was running out for Halep faster than her opponent's spring-loaded legs at the other end. The end was both merciless and merciful as she served out to 15, the final dagger a big serve down the T that Halep could only send dribbling towards the net.

2020 - 4th October - French Open day eight: Iga Swiatek stuns Simona Halep to reach last eight

By Press Association |Published: 4th October 2020 | Updated: 4th October 2020

Polish teenager Iga Świątek produced the performance of the tournament so far to defeat title favourite Simona Halep 6-1 6-2 and reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.

Fifth seed Kiki Bertens was also knocked out by Martina Trevisan, leaving Elina Svitolina as the only seed remaining in the top half of the draw.

Sebastian Korda was brutally dispatched 6-1 6-1 6-2 by his idol Rafael Nadal, who will next face 19-year-old Jannik Sinner after he knocked out an unwell Alexander Zverev. Third seed Dominic Thiem survived a five-setter against wild card Hugo Gaston.

2020 - 4th October - There's a buzz about the Courts at Roland Garros

"Nowa siła", "Jeden z najlepszych meczów w historii polskiego tenisa"

04 października 2020

Iga Świątek osiągnęła życiowy sukces awansując do ćwierćfinału wielkoszlemowego French Open po zwycięstwie nad turniejową "jedynką" Simoną Halep 6:1, 6:2. - To jest nowa siła w tenisie - twierdzi komentator Eurosportu Marek Furjan. - Jeden z najlepszych meczów w historii polskiego tenisa - wtóruje mu była zawodniczka, a obecnie komentatorka dyscypliny Joanna Sakowicz-Kostecka. Wszyscy fachowcy rozpływają się w zachwytach nad grą i wiktorią Igi Świątek w Paryżu. Wielka Simona Halep była w niedzielę bez szans. - To był wyjątkowy mecz, bardzo emocjonujący - przyznaje Marek Furjan. - Cieszymy się, że Iga wyciągnęła te pozytywne emocje, a negatywnych w ogóle w tym turnieju nie pokazuje. Bywało z tym różnie w przeszłości. To był niejako rewanż za ubiegłoroczną porażkę z tą samą rywalką, na tym samym korcie, w tym samym etapie turnieju. Teraz mamy kompletnie inny wynik i kompletnie inną Igę. Pokazała tenis, którym wszyscy na świecie się zachwycają - zapewnia komentator

Drzwi kariery otwarte

Słowa Furjana potwierdza Sakowicz-Kostecka. Podkreśla, że to jest pierwszy awans w karierze 19-letniej Świątek do ćwierćfinału Wielkiego Szlema. - To jest ogromna sensacja, która sprawiła, że Iga jest teraz na ustach całego tenisowego świata. Wszyscy dziennikarze zachwycają się grą Polki. Jest to gigantyczny sukces Świątek, jej sztabu i rodziny. Nie możemy tego rozpatrywać tylko patrząc na jedno zwycięstwo, ale także mając na uwadze, jakie drzwi ten mecz otworzył Idze w perspektywie dalszej kariery - analizuje była tenisistka. Kim jest obecnie Świątek dla polskiego i światowego tenisa? - Pierwsze słowo, jakie przychodzi mi na myśl, to "nadzieja" - zauważył Furjan. - Z drugiej strony, jak pokazuje turniej w Paryżu - to już jest teraźniejszość. To jest nowa siła w tenisie. Igi na razie nie było w czołówce światowego rankingu, ale jest duża szansa, że się tam pojawi za jakiś czas. Polka stała się jedyną nastolatką w czwartej rundzie Rolanda Garrosa. To dobrze nam obrazuje fakt, że "nowa siła" jest dobrym określeniem przy okazji opisywania tej zawodniczki. Dziś pokonała wiceliderkę rankingu i dziewczynę, która nie przegrała meczu od końca stycznia. Halep wygrała 17 spotkań z rzędu i była główną faworytką do triumfu w turnieju. Teraz te opinie się zmieniają. Bardzo dużą siłę może stanowić Świątek - przekonuje komentator Eurosportu.

Najlepszy mecz Swiatek w karierze

Pokonanie Halep 6:1, 6:2 zrobiło na wszystkich kolosalne wrażenie. Czy to zapowiedź kolejnych triumfów? - Sama wygrana może nie jest taką sensacją, jak wynik i skala tego zwycięstwa - zauważa Sakowicz-Kostecka. - To nie jest rezultat słabszej dyspozycji Halep. To całkowita zasługa gry Polki. Bez wątpienia mogę powiedzieć, że nigdy w życiu nie widziałam lepiej grającej Świątek. Myślę, że każdy śledzący jej karierę, mógłby zgodzić się z tym stwierdzeniem. Uważam, że jest to jeden z najlepszych meczów w historii polskiego tenisa. Widzieliśmy naszą zawodniczkę, grającą na tym poziomie i dominującą nad jedną z najlepszych tenisistek ostatnich lat. Dlatego musimy czuć się dumni - przekonuje ekspertka. - Ósemka turnieju wielkoszlemowego - w tym klubie jest się już do końca życia - kontynuuje była tenisistka. - Taka pozycja w CV jak ćwierćfinał Wielkiego Szlema świadczy o najwyższej klasie w globalnym sporcie, jakim jest tenis. Patrząc na dyspozycję, na formę, na styl, myślę, że to nie będzie ostatni raz, kiedy będziemy mogli cieszyć się z takiego wyniku - zapewnia Sakowicz-Kostecka.

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