Iga Swiatek is the new French Open champion after beating the Australian Open champion, Sofia Kenin 6-4 6-1.
She is the lowest ranked player and first Polish playerto win the French Open. She also won the tournament without dropping a set.
It was improbable at the beginning of the 2020 French Open tournament that Swiatek and Sofia Kenin would be the finalists – Swiatek at 19 and Kenin at 21 were the youngest pair to contest the Roland Garros title in recent times.
Kenin won the toss but allowed Swiatek to serve first and the Polish teenager won the first game to love and broke Kenin in the second game to take an early 2-0 lead.
She dominated the opening with booming forehand shots and was 3-0 up in just eight minutes. Kenin was back in the set after 20 minutes when she racked up three consecutive games to level at 3-3.
The eighth game took almost 10 minutes with five deuces involved and a rally of 19 shots, which Swiatek finally took when Kenin returned long. The unseeded Pole served for the first set after 38 minutes but Kenin hung on and took the game to give herself a shot at 4-5. But Swiatek withstood some baseline bombs to take the first set 6-4, after
The players swapped games and stayed on serve until the fourth game when Kenin had to take an injury break – to treat a thigh injury. The American fourth seed returned with heavy strapping on her left thigh, serving to stay with Swiatek.
The Pole broke to take a 3-1 lead. She thereafter took control of the game with well disguised lobs as she took advantage of the slightly hampered Kenin. Off both forehand and backhand shots, the 19-year-old dropped winners and looked unfazed by the occasion.
She won the fifth game to love and looked unstoppable in her quest to become the latest champion at the Court Philippe-Chartrier. She broke Kenin to love in the sixth game as the impossible became possible.
Swiatek thus became the lowest ranked player to win the French Open in the open era. Chris O’Neil, at the 1978 Australian Open 1978 O’Neil was the first woman to win a Grand Slam as an unseeded player but the first woman to win the French Open as an unseeded player was Jelena Ostapenko at the 2017 French Open, where she was seeded 47th at the start of the tournament.
Swaitek bested that by starting the French Open ranked 54 in the world. She will be ranked seventh in the world at the start of next week.