The breakthrough 2020 French Open title is just the beginning for Inga Swotek


In the middle of Iga Swatak’s blistering second set against Sofia Kainin in the French Open women’s final on Saturday, NBC commentator John Machenro made a bold prediction.

“With the way he is playing right now, it would be hard to imagine that he would not achieve a half-dozen big wins,” the men’s tennis legend said. “It’s awesome.”

Moments later, the 19-year-old hit a forehand winner in the corner and bowed to the ground in disbelief. Svotek won the final six games of the match and won their first Grand Slam title 6-4 6-1 in an hour and 24 minutes over Kenin, the Australian Open champion. She leans in with a wide smile, expressing her disbelief after becoming the first Polish singles player to win a major championship, and runs to the stand – losing more than once to an unfamiliar stadium – to hug her family and team To apply.

She was surprised by the results of the day, but there were others in Paris.

Unpublished and unreleased, Swartak reached Paris at 54th place in the world. She never advanced to the fourth round of the Major or won any title in the WTA Tour. He upset 2019 finalist Marka Wondrosova in his opener at Roland Garros. In the fourth round, Swatek defeated 2018 champion and top seed Simona Halep 6–1, 6–2. She never missed a set during the tournament and won in just 28 games – the fifth-lowest ever by a winner at the French Open.

Despite his lack of experience, Svettek was the most preferred bet to enter Saturday’s championship match.

As Svetak Philippe stood on the podium on Philippe Chatterian, after playing with speakers of the Polish national anthem, tennis crowned his newest star. In women’s tennis, there have been several first-time major champions over the years, including Kenin, but few have been convinced and destined for more.

The tweet and applause were instant on social media.

“A pleasure to watch – it looks so easy,” Two-time US Open winner Tracy Austin wrote. “More Major Ahead !!”

18-time major winner Chris Evert said: “Is there a sterling two-week spectacular tennis. Many, many more GS titles to come.”

Swatek steamrolled through the tournament with steam resolution and clinical technology. She worked closely with a sports psychologist during the last two years, and her mental strength was just as impressive as her talent. In her “off” days, she dominated the doubles court with American Nicole Melichar. The pair had never played before Paris, but reached the women’s doubles semi-finals before losing in a three-set battle on Friday. She credited her game together to improve her game. This is hard to argue – he won six of his seven net points in the final.

Swetch had nerves in question about entering the biggest match of his career. He quickly silenced them, winning 12 of the first 18 points and taking a 3–0 lead in just eight minutes. Known for his tenacity and patience on the court, Kenin struggled to return for the next three games.

As Kenin vociferously expressed his frustration and threw his racket throughout the match, Swatek remained calm. During the break, Swartak sat in his chair and closed his eyes, meditating and affirming himself.

“I just did everything in the last round,” Swatek said. “I focused on technique and strategy. I tried to get rid of expectations, you know, just to play one ball after another. I didn’t really care if I was going to lose or win.

“So really, I think the main key was just keeping my expectations low.”

This laid-back, no-pressure attitude proved effective. When Kenin came out of the court for a medical timeout due to a 2–1 left foot injury in the second set, Swatek stayed on the court and practiced his service. Although the interruption would have unfollowed the other players, and was questioned by the broadcast team, Swetek required just 12 minutes of play to close the match.

“I think he’s served really well,” said a disappointed Kenin. “She was set really well with her forehand, especially in the first set. A few shots here and there didn’t get in my way. She played some great tennis.”

Svotek, who completed his high school studies during the suspension of tennis due to a coronovirus epidemic, became the youngest winner in Roland Garros in 2005 after his hero, Rafael Nadal. Nadal will play for his 13th French Open title and set the 20th major record trophy against Novak Djokovic on Sunday. Swatek said she hopes to participate, but said during a postmatch interview that she was not sure she could get a ticket.

Swatek earned more than double his career thanks to a $ 1.89 million salary during his tenure in Paris and is expected to rise to number 17 on Monday’s ranking. His life has changed forever, but he is far from content.

“I know that my game is not fully developed,” she said. “Also, I think the biggest change for me is going to be a consistent one. I think this is what women’s tennis is struggling with. That’s why we have so many new Grand Slam winners because we’re Rafa. Are not as consistent., Roger [Federer] And Novak.

“That’s why my goal is to be consistent. It’s going to be really hard to achieve.”

The daughter of an Olympic rover, Svotek initially began swimming, but progressed to tennis after her older sister played. She was playing on clay and won the French Open Junior doubles title with American Katy McNeely in 2018, as well as the Wimbledon Girls’ Singles title the following month. Two years later, he is a Grand Slam champion – a feat he called “heavy” and “crazy” when addressed to the crowd immediately after the victory.

She said seeing the wife of other young players like Kenin, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andriscu and her friend and three-time major winner Naomi Osaka helped fuel her belief that she too could do so.

“Certainly it’s inspiring,” she said. “I know there is no limit. Even though you are really young and you are young, you can do a lot in a sport like tennis.

“Well, on one side it’s very inspiring. Sometimes I caught myself realizing that I’m winning a grand slam as well, but on the other side it was also, like, really far away. Right now when I’m here Am, and still am. ” I’m a Grand Slam champion, this is crazy. You believe in things, but in the back of your head you know that there is going to be a huge amount of work that you have to do to win. Then after two weeks of great games. , you already have. It’s just – I don’t know – heavy. ”

Well-liked by his peers and fans for his effortless personality and ecstasy – and much talked about in his taste in music, Swatek has a superstar and games to support it. She came to Paris as something unknown, but leaves as an immediate contender in any tournament. She was openly questioning how long she would be playing on the tour and would discuss potentially attending university just weeks before. But she was not thinking of anyone after Saturday’s win.

“Right now, I’m just going, you know, enjoy the moment,” he said. “I’m going to think about my future goals later.”

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