PARIS — Winning their first Grand Slam trophy is a treasured moment, that any tennis players will preserve as the most memorable day in their life, and often never surpass.
For Iga Swiatek Winning her second Roland-Garros victory in three years, in front of the world’s eyes, meant even more to Iga.
Swiatek is efficient, so smooth, with a racket in her hand, never flustered a bit and, for months now, never beaten.
The only time she appeared shaken Saturday at Court Philippe Chatrier was after her 6-1, 6-3 final triumph against Coco Gauff, which extended the No. 1-ranked Swiatek’s winning streak to 35 matches and gave her two French Open titles.
While her first triumph, in 2020, came almost out of the blue, this time she was the bookmakers favourite, the one everyone knew they had to beat, which brings its own pressure.
Not only did she deal with it, she dealt with it in style and on Saturday, in front of Polish royalty in the form of football star Robert Lewandowski, she produced a performance worthy of a world No.1 as she beat American teenager Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3.
Iga Swiatek amazingly Different after winning French Open at Roland Garros
“It feels amazing really, very different from 2020,” said the 21-year-old Swiatek. “I feel more prepared, more solid. I can celebrate a little bit more.
That’s when the tears flowed, first during the Polish national anthem — Swiatek is the only player from that nation to win a Grand Slam singles title — and, again, during the trophy ceremony.
“I just told Coco, ‘Don’t cry,'” said Swiatek, who claimed the 2020 French Open while still a teen and ranked outside the top 50, “and what am I doing right now?”
She interrupted herself a few times during her victory speech, at one point admonishing, “Oh, my God. It seems like I still need some experience.” But Swiatek also gathered her thoughts well enough to offer support and wishes of hope for Ukraine, which Russia invaded in February.
“Stay strong, because the world is still there,” Swiatek told Ukrainians, whose blue-and-yellow flag is represented by a ribbon of those colors she has been wearing on her white cap during matches.