Iga Swiatek beats Sofia Kenin at French Open for first grand slam title

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Swiatek raced to her first major and became Poland’s first grand slam singles winner by topping Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 in Paris.

She also became the first female to win the tournament without dropping a set since Justine Henin in 2007 and the youngest champion in southwest Paris since her favorite player, Rafael Nadal.

The Spaniard was also 19 in 2005.

At No. 54, no women’s player had ever been ranked as low and lifted the trophy.

Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates after winning the women's singles final at the French Open in Paris against Sofia Kenin of the United States.

But if her junior career is anything to go by, none of this should be a massive surprise.

Swiatek triumphed in the Wimbledon juniors in 2018, a few weeks after capturing the junior doubles title at Roland Garros.

Sports run in her family, as her dad represented Poland at the Olympics in Seoul in 1988.

She is good friends with Naomi Osaka, who upped her grand slam tally to three by winning the US Open last month.

Swiatek is an aggressive player like her pal, seeking to dictate with her powerful, heavily spun forehand.

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin had no answer to her opponent as she failed in her bid for a second grand slam title in 2020.

Fast starts have been a hallmark of her play in Paris and seemingly without any nerves in her first major final, she took a 3-0 lead. Maybe her pre-match song, ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ by rock band Guns N’Roses, has helped.

Mostly sunny conditions greeted the players in fall temperatures of around 15 degrees Celsius after the event shifted its date from late May due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was the sixth time in her seven outings Swiatek led by a break prior to the first sit down.

But the gutsy Australian Open champion did mount a comeback.

Kenin broke to stay in the set for 4-5 with a backhand sizzling return, only to drop serve immediately.

The American broke serve to start the second but once again the response was immediate from Swiatek.

Already sporting tape to her left leg, Kenin took a medical timeout at 1-2 but it did little to change her fortunes.

During the medical timeout, some fans in attendance — capped at 1,000 — gave Swiatek yet more encouragement.

Swiatek beat favorite Simona Halep on her way to lifting the famous trophy in emphatic style.

Swiatek sealed the contest with a 25th winner — compared to only 17 unforced errors — and moments later was in the stands hugging her camp.

Even as she made the final, Swiatek — who works with a sports psychologist — didn’t discount focusing on her studies if things didn’t go her way on the tour. Maybe now she will change her mind completely.

It was a rare defeat on the big stage for Kenin, who had been 5-1 in previous finals and toughed out five wins this fortnight.

But perhaps not even she would have envisaged making the final after losing her lone warmup match 6-0 6-0 to the player Osaka beat in New York, Victoria Azarenka, in Rome.

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