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'It's Crazy': History Is Made at the French Open

Iga Swiatek is the first Polish player to win a Grand Slam singles trophy
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 10, 2020 10:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – With the poise of a veteran and the shots of a champion, 19-year-old Iga Swiatek picked the perfect place for her first tour-level title: the French Open, the AP reports. Unseeded and ranked merely 54th, Swiatek grabbed the last six games to beat Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 in the final at Roland Garros on Saturday, becoming the first Polish tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles trophy. When she smacked one last forehand winner to the corner to end things, Swiatek placed her right hand over her mouth then crouched, shaking her head. "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, her voice cracking. "I'm just overwhelmed." Hard to believe? Maybe.

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This was, after all, only her seventh major tournament; she'd never been past the fourth round. But the way she played these two weeks made this outcome less of a surprise. Swiatek is the first woman to triumph in Paris without ceding a set since Justine Henin in 2007. She lost only 28 games across seven matches, too. She is the first teen to win the women's title at the French Open since Iva Majoli in 1997. And Swiatek did it with victories over such opponents as 2018 champion Simona Halep and 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondrousova. So it made sense that Swiatek would beat Kenin, a 21-year-old American trying to claim her second major title of 2020 after winning the Australian Open in February. "A great tournament. A great match," Kenin told Swiatek during the trophy ceremony.

(Read more tennis stories.)

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