Iga Swiatek, 19, new queen of Roland-Garros

The Polish Iga Swiatek is 19 years old, and won Roland Garros.

At Roland Garros, before entering the court, Iga Swiatek listens thoroughly Welcome to the jungle Gun n’Roses in his helmet. And Saturday, October 10, Sofia Kenin found herself trapped in the lianas erected by the young Polish girl. Like all her opponents since the start of the fortnight, the American could only see her supremacy. At 19, Iga Swiatek won Roland-Garros (6-4, 6-1) without losing a single set, and became the first Polish – women and men alike – to win a Grand Slam tournament.

The Polish girl enters the first final among the greats of her career as well as in her garden. A white game to set the scene. And a forehand cannonball to introduce himself to the American – two years her senior. Making Kenin run, strapped more than usual in the left adductor, she aims for the lines, and breaks the entry to world number 6. Who must wait nearly a quarter of an hour of play to register his first game.

But Sofia Kenin says she sees herself as a “Problem solver”, a Florida Swiss Army Knife who loves nothing better than “Think about the game to be produced” to disrupt his opponent. Letting go of her blows, especially in return for service, the young American erases her late break, once again admiring her ability to wipe out previous blows to bounce back. As if being led 0-3 in the final of a Grand Slam tournament was just a junk, it comes back to equality, to the force of an efficient service.

Relive the encounter: Poland’s Iga Swiatek beats Sofia Kenin in the final to win her first Grand Slam title

Carefree and total control

“This is Sonya [son surnom], she is 6 years old, and she is going to be a really good tennis player. “ If Kim Klijsters did not have a prolific career under her belt, we would suggest to the former Belgian champion to retrain in the forecasts. In 2005, she introduced Sofia Kenin, a blonde kid with big eyes, to Andy Roddick, on the sidelines of the Miami tournament, with prescient words. It is not known if Iga Swiatek was entitled to a small television report, but she, too, has cut corners. For this first final to pit two players under 22 since 2003 (and the duel of the Belgians Hénin and Klijsters), the two young women gave to see what the women’s circuit could hold for years: a duel of high flight, to each his own.

Read also Roland-Garros final: Sofia Kenin’s appetite

While Kenin doesn’t hide any emotion – positive or negative – on the other side of the net, Swiatek (pronounced “Shwi-on-tek”) seems unfazed. After winning the first round in just under three-quarters of an hour (6-4), using an array of strokes alternating coiled forehand flirting with the angle of the court, good cushioning and return of rounded service, the young Polish woman continues her progress, like a steamroller. And when Kenin requests the intervention of the physiotherapist and is absent from the court for a long time, the time to receive medical treatment, Iga Swiatek does not lose patience. Carefree, she took the opportunity to take the pulse of the Philippe-Chatrier court, applauding the few spectators present. “I had a lot of fun on the court, especially during the medical break, where I was able to enjoy the public. It did me good. “

Iga Swiatek flew over the 2020 Roland-Garros edition.

This mastery of her emotions – illustrated by her second set, led drum beating by exploiting the weaknesses of the American, less mobile because of her thigh – Iga Swiatek has been working on for a long time. She works daily with a psychologist, to learn to channel herself. ” Few people talk about psychology in tennis, she noted earlier in the tournament. For me, the mind is surely one of the most important aspects in our sport, because everyone can have a very high level. But those who are mentally strong and can handle the pressure better are the best players. I have always wanted to evolve in this direction. “

Rafael Nadal fan takes place on “his” podium

Unlike Sofia Kenin, who picked up physically at the end of the game, Iga Swiatek did not have to draw on his reserves until the final. On the contrary, the young woman unrolled a fiery power to which all her opponents had to bow. Great admirer of Rafael Nadal – after his quarter-final, she asked, amazed, “Rafa is going to play here right after?” “ – the Polish woman borrowed her warrior character from her model. From Romanian Simona Halep – seeded number 1 and winner in 2018 – to Sofia Kenin, no player has been able to steal a set, or even more than five games.

“I’m not good at speeches, warned the young woman, after taking off her mask time to kiss the Suzanne-Lenglen cup. My last tournament I won was two years ago, so I’m not sure who to thank. “ She, who watches Rafael Nadal every year lift the trophy on the Philippe-Chatrier court, has had a hard time realizing. “It’s unreal, it’s crazy to find myself there, in the same place. ” Just like his tournament, his cavalcade in the labyrinth of the aisles of the Central to join his family was a breath of fresh air.

Old school rock lover – from Pink Floyd to Pearl Jam, via AC / DC -, Iga Swiatek does not have a tennis made of dizzying solos and other technical flights. Placed with her feet on the beaten earth, the young Polish girl seemed in control since her first steps at Porte d’Auteuil this year. In a very open women’s circuit, and often conducive to surprises, like all the other young winners of Grand Slam tournaments, the one that will be on Monday 24e world player (against n ° 54 at the start of the tournament) will have to confirm.

“An outsider has won a Grand Slam tournament again, smiled the winner at the end of her match. In women’s tennis, it happens a lot, but being that player, I assure you, it’s totally amazing! ” An unstoppable epilogue, like his journey at Porte d’Auteuil. In this year like no other, Iga Swiatek has just been crowned Queen of the Jungle. We’re waiting for the Gun n’Roses version.


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