She marked the 2020 Roland-Garros edition with her smile, her freshness, and especially her impressive tennis which propelled her to victory at Porte d’Auteuil. If tennis enthusiasts already saw a lot of talent and a bright future for Iga Swiatek, no one expected to see her advance like a cannonball in Paris.
At only 19 years old, Iga Swiatek won the Parisian Grand Slam without losing a set.
An unprecedented winner for an unprecedented Roland-Garros
As in almost every tournament, female tennis enthusiasts do not fail to tear their hair out to predict a potential winner among the huge pool of players likely to win a Grand Slam. The year 2020, certainly even more than usual given the truncated season marked by the Covid-19 epidemic, has not failed to bring its share of surprises in this autumnal and unprecedented edition of Roland- Garros.
Very happy the one who predicted Iga Swiatek as the winner of Roland-Garros 2020. The 19-year-old Polish woman arrives in Paris as the 54th player in the world and 0 title to her list. Suffice to say that the young Iga does not even act as an outsider given the players present in front of her in the standings.
A flawless course at Porte d’Auteuil
She started her first round with a solid victory over Marketa Vondrousova, the 2019 Roland-Garros finalist (6/1 6/2), then continued with a demonstration against the atypical Su-Wei Hsieh (6/1 6/4) . Still without losing a set, she rallies the round of 16 after a victory against Eugenie Bouchard (6/3 6/2).
But it is in the round of 16 that the spotlight will start to shine on the young Polish girl. Opposed to Simona Halep who is the favorite in this autumnal Roland Garros, Iga Swiatek will walk on water throughout the game to inflict a heavy defeat on the Romanian who had pulverized her 6/1 6/0 at the same stadium of the competition last year. Unplayable, Swiatek seems to be on cloud nine. Her relaxed and aggressive game allows her to gain the upper hand over the Romanian defensive game. And it was with a total of 30 winning shots that she brought down the number one seed 6/1 6/2.
She signs her first career victory in a Top 10 and holds her benchmark match. The tennis world then discovers the game and the refreshing personality of the Polish woman. A star was born on the Philippe Chatrier court this Sunday, October 4, 2020.
She then continues with two victories still as solid on the two surprises of the tournament Martina Trevisan (6/3 6/1) and Nadia Podoroska (6/2 6/1).
A one-sided finale
Iga Swiatek therefore rallies her first career final at Roland Garros. She is opposed to Sofia Kenin, world number 4, and winner of the Australian Open this season.
In a final that promises to be breathtaking, the Polish will however go it alone on the Philippe Chatrier court. Despite a hooked first set, Swiatek will never be really worried. Its final looks too much like all those matches played during the tournament. On a cloud and playing without pressure, she is the boss on the court. In the second round, Sofia Kenin no longer seems to be able to bring real opposition to the opposing game. Decreased and on the verge of psychological cracking, the American is even forced to leave the court to seek treatment. An interruption during which Iga Swiatek will even have fun from his bench with the few spectators present. This shows the level of relaxation of the Polish for a Grand Slam final.
The end of the game will only be a formality for the 19-year-old. A final winning forehand allows Iga Swiatek to become Roland-Garros champion (6/4 6/1). The Polish won her first career title without losing a single set during the tournament, and with an average of 4 games conceded per match. A high-level performance for the one who had until then played only 11 matches on clay on the main circuit before Roland-Garros.
A breath of fresh air that we needed in 2020
In addition to his offensive tennis and topspin forehand which reminds us of that of his idol Rafael Nadal, it is also the refreshing personality of Iga Swiatek that marked the spirits.
While we feel more and more a real mastery of all emotions among tennis players, the young Polish woman quickly seduced the public with her real spontaneity and her sincere smile.
A bit like Naomi Osaka, with whom she is a friend who has seduced the public with her atypical personality, Iga Swiatek has blown a real wind of freshness at Porte d’Auteuil.
The carefree attitude she shows on and off the court is appreciated by tennis fans.
But it is also the way she approaches the mind that stands out. While the subject is taboo for the tennis player, Iga Swiatek evokes the subject “psy” without restraint. She is also accompanied by a psychologist during her trips on the circuit. “I don’t think there are a lot of people talking about psychology in tennis. It’s true that I have Daria (Daria Abramowicz) in my team for three years, she explains. I believe that the mind is surely one of the most important things in tennis, because anyone can achieve a very high level of tennis. But those who are mentally strong can handle the pressure better, and they’re the best players. I have always wanted to evolve in this direction. Daria is the best for me, because she understands me from A to Z. ”
Iga Swiatek illuminated a sad and bland autumnal Roland-Garros with his smile and spontaneity. And one thing is certain: we want more.
Photo credit: Corinne Dubreuil / FFT