Iga Świątek won the finals of the French Open by defeating Russian-born American Sofia Kenin 6:4 and 6:1, catapuling the young Polish player to stardom overnight.
The Polish tennis player did not drop a single set during the tournament, which was held at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris and lost only 28 games in 7 matches.
In an interview after her amazing victory, Świątek admitted that she had been incredibly stressed out during the final games:
“Everyone is tense when they play in the finals of the Grand Slam. I knew that Sofia (her opponent) may also be stressed, as she wasn’t a machine. I was aware that we both could struggle with this, and we would not play the best tennis possible due to such high pressure,” she said.
Świątek explained that she had done what she had in the previous rounds — focused on her technique and tactics while ignoring expectations and playing one ball after the other.
“Like I said; I did not care whether I would win or lose. I believe that the key was holding onto not having too high expectations,” she said.
Polish tennis fans were overjoyed by Świątek’s historic victory, with thousands of them sending congratulations through social media. Among them were Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and President Andrzej Duda.
“Huge congratulations for Iga Świątek who achieved a life accomplishment today. I am convinced, that this is only her first victory in the Grand Slam. An incredible story written by the girl through her games at the Stade Roland Garros. Paris is Polish today!” Morawiecki wrote on Twitter.
Ogromne gratulacje dla @iga_swiatek, która osiągnęła dziś życiowy i – jestem przekonany – dopiero pierwszy sukces w Wielkim Szlemie. ✌️ Niesamowita historia, którą napisała ta młoda dziewczyna na kortach #RolandGarros ! Paryż jest dzisiaj polski! ???
— Mateusz Morawiecki (@MorawieckiM) October 10, 2020
Duda emphasized how important Świątek’s victory was for the history and future of Polish sport:
“An unbelievable, historic success of Iga Świątek. This day will be etched in the history of Poland, Polish sport and Polish tennis. Thank you! We congratulate you with all our hearts and offer you a standing ovation.”
Niesamowity, historyczny sukces @iga_swiatek w #rolandgarros2020 . Ten dzień przechodzi do historii Polski, polskiego sportu i polskiego tenisa. Dziękujemy! Gratulujemy z całego serca i bijemy brawo na stojąco Pani Igo! #100lat! ???????????????????? https://t.co/1o40QJfWzv
— Andrzej Duda (@AndrzejDuda) October 10, 2020
The Polish champion added after the final, that while she was aware that the victory would change her life, she was not afraid of her growing popularity.
“I know there will be a craze in Poland. But I think that I will get used to it and it won’t be an issue. Drawing attention is not a problem for me and I don’t mind being surrounded by people. I think I’ll manage,” she said.
The Associated Press reported that Świątek was the lowest rated finalist of the French Open in the Women’s Tennis Association ranking since its creation in 1975.