6-4 and 6-1. The final score may suggest that the winner of this strange 2020 Roland Garros is an experienced player who will not have left her opponent any chance. It’s just the other way around. The Polish Iga Swiatek, sensation of this Parisian tournament played in front of a weak assistance, was recently almost unknown to the battalion. She had no title to her record, had only known one final, in Lugano (Switzerland) in 2019, and she had never passed the knockout stages in the Grand Slam.
No set sold
At 19, this young girl all in white dressed in tennis caps, would have deserved the vivas of the crowd of a packed central at the end of her crazy autumnal fortnight in Paris spent under the eyes of a weak audience, pandemic of Covid-19 requires. She will not have given up any set to her opponents. Nor to Simona Aleppo, the Romanian archi favorite of the tournament, dispatched 6-2 then 6-1 in the round of 16, nor, in the final, to the American Sofia Kenin, world number six and winner of the Open d ‘ Australia in early February, that a thigh injury during the second round will certainly have prevented him from really defending his chances.
The feat – no set lost, and even only 28 games conceded in all in the tournament – had not been achieved at Roland Garros since the Belgian Justine Hénin, in 2007. This is to say the performance of Iga Swiatek, who still divided her time between tennis and high school, a few months ago, even forced to train at 7 am before heading off to class.
“It will be difficult to decide to continue my studies, now, because I really feel that I can accomplish great things”, she admitted during the tournament.
To celebrate its fabulous fortnight in Paris, a Polish newspaper renamed the tournament “Poland-Garros” in One. By successfully entering the big league at Porte d’Auteuil, the young woman at the same time becomes the first Polish woman, men and women alike, to win a Grand Slam trophy on Saturday, October 10. At the same time, it will make a leap in the world rankings, passing after this tournament from 54th to 17th place.
“It’s crazy because every year, I watched Rafa (Nadal, his favorite player, Editor’s note) lift the trophy, it’s incredible to do it myself”, she wonders, after lowering her black mask for a moment to kiss the trophy. “It’s a lot of emotion. I don’t understand what’s going on, I’m so happy, it’s crazy, I’m upset. Two years ago, I won a Grand Slam in juniors (Wimbledon, NDLR), I have the impression that everything was so fast ”, she still surprises herself.