Polish teenager Iga Swiatek won her country’s first Grand Slam singles title yesterday as she defeated American fourth seed Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 to become the youngest women’s French Open champion since 1992.
The 19-year-old Swiatek, at 54 the lowest-ranked woman to capture the Roland Garros title in the modern era, is the ninth first-time major champion in the past 14 Grand Slams.
“It had to be like that that another underdog won a Grand Slam in women’s tennis. It is so often right now that it is crazy,” said Swiatek, who captured her first tour title in the process.
“I don’t know what’s going on. It’s overwhelming for me, it’s crazy.
“Two years ago I won a junior Grand Slam (at Wimbledon) and now I’m here. It feels like such a short time.”
Swiatek is the youngest women’s French Open winner since Monica Seles lifted the trophy as an 18-year-old in 1992. She is the first teenage champion since Iva Majoli in 1997.
“It’s crazy for me because I watched Rafael Nadal lift the trophy every year and now I’m in the same place,” she said.
Swiatek also became just the second unseeded women’s Roland Garros champion in the Open era, joining Jelena Ostapenko who claimed a shock title three years ago.
She eclipsed the run of compatriot Jadwiga Jedrzejowska — the most outstanding Polish player of the interwar period — who finished runner-up at Roland Garros in 1939.
Swiatek was only the second Polish woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open era after Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon in 2012. She had never previously been beyond the last 16.
Australian Open champion Kenin, 21, was attempting to become the first woman to capture two Slams in the same year since Angelique Kerber in 2016.
“I just want to congratulate Iga on a great tournament and a great match. You played really well,” said Kenin.