Roland-Garros – Iga Swiatek beats Sofia Kenin (6-4, 6-1) and wins her first Grand Slam title

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She will have gone through this fortnight like a hurricane, until the end. At only 19 years old, Iga Swiatek became the first Polish woman (men and women alike) to include her name on the prize list of a Grand Slam tournament on Saturday. The 54th player in the world thus got the better of Sofia Kenin, number 6 in the WTA and crowned earlier this year in Melbourne, in straight sets (6-4, 6-1) and 1h24 of play. In seven matches, she did not he will not have given up a single set, a feat that had not been achieved in Paris since Justine Henin in 2007.

She had however warned: Iga Swiatek likes pressure matches. But playing a first Grand Slam final is never easy to deal with emotionally, so we waited and saw. And we saw. From the first strikes of the ball, the young Polish girl set up her game with authority. What better way to enter the game than a shutout, then a confirmed break after 8 minutes of play? A start on the hats of wheel worthy of the “FedExpress” (currently broken down, it is true) and which even made fear a time a final completely one way.

Swiatek never doubted

The final score thus does not do justice to Sofia Kenin’s resistance in the first set. The American, who hates nothing more than defeat, could have let herself be overwhelmed but it is not in her character. She thus started to find short cross zones which bothered Swiatek and managed to come back to 3 games everywhere. Never so hung up as at the start of the final during the last two weeks, the Pole got somewhat out of hand, but she did not let doubt take hold of her mind and resumed her business of destruction.

Because if Swiatek was expeditious in this tournament like a Roger Federer among the men, it is Rafael Nadal his idol. And we must admit that his topspin forehand is reminiscent of the Majorcan’s lethal weapon. Thanks to her great strikes, she gradually made her opponent bend. And if Kenin still broke 5-3 against her, the American could only see the damage on the next game. After 48 minutes, the Polish thus took the lead.

Drunk with beatings, Kenin didn’t go the distance

Kenin, with pride, broke from the start of the second set (6-4, 0-1), but it was actually swan song. The American, who had started with a strap on the left thigh and seemed clearly embarrassed in her movements, especially in defense, suffered more and more from the adductor. On the verge of tears and forced to leave the Philippe-Chatrier court to be treated, she could not have any illusions afterwards, totally overwhelmed by the power of her opponent who beat her to winning blows (25 against 10) .

It’s simple: Swiatek has won the last 6 games of the final, cleverly exploiting the physical difficulties of her rival by swinging her from one end of the court to the other, and by distilling here and there some good cushioning. The rare times the Pole has ventured into the net, she has also done so very successfully (6 winning climbs out of 7). After a dream final, the icing on the cake of a perfect fortnight, Swiatek, radiant and shaken by emotion, was able to receive the trophy from the hands of Mary Pierce, champion 20 years ago. Not seeded, like Jelena Ostapenko three years ago, she created quite a sensation. But something tells us that this is just the start.

Iga Swiatek

Credit: Getty Images



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