Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press
Iga Swiatek entered the French Open unseeded with no WTA singles titles on her resume after turning pro last year.
Two weeks later, the 19-year-old Swiatek made history on Saturday with her 6-4, 6-1 win over Sofia Kenin in the women’s final.
Swiatek never lost more than five games in any of her seven victories to capture the French Open title. She knocked off the fourth-seeded Kenin thanks to a 25-10 advantage in winners and converting six of seven break-point opportunities.
Kenin was looking for her second Grand Slam title of the year after winning the Australian Open in February. This was her deepest run at Roland Garros, but the 21-year-old may have suffered a leg injury at some point.
After falling behind 2-1 in the second set, Kenin called for a medical timeout that was called into question by some analysts.
Per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), Kenin said afterward she may have pulled something after slipping during a practice session earlier this week.
The brief timeout may have helped Swiatek in her quest to close out the match.
Another problem for Kenin during the match was her service game. She only had one ace against three double-faults. Of her 37 first serves in play, she only won on 17 of them. By comparison, the Russian star was 21-of-34 on first serves in the semifinal win over Petra Kvitova.
Despite Kenin’s struggles, this was Swiatek’s match. She took control from the opening serve and never got in any real trouble, even after losing the first game in the second set.
“It’s crazy. Two years ago, I won a junior Grand Slam, and right now I’m here. It feels like such a short time,” Swiatek said on the court after her win. “I’m just overwhelmed.”
After starting the tournament as the 54th-ranked player in the WTA rankings, Swiatek will move up 37 spots following the biggest win of her young career.
At just 19 years old, Swiatek’s future is entirely in front of her. The Polish star showed incredible poise on the Grand Slam stage, starting with her win over 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova in the first round. Swiatek also knocked off top-seeded Simona Halep in the fourth round and capped off her run by defeating Kenin.
With Swiatek joining young stars like Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu, as well as long-established superstars like Halep, Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty, women’s tennis is in great shape heading into the 2021 season.