Tennis welcomed a new star to its firmament as 19 year-old Iga Swiatek eased her way to the French Open title with an imperious display.
The Polish teenager took only an hour and 23 minutes to sweep aside Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 6-4 6-1 with a wonderful display of hitting, ignoring the scale of the occasion.
She looks to be part of the new world order in the women’s game, and continued her record of not dropping a set in the fortnight. For her trouble she earned £1.45 million, the first Pole to win in Paris.
Iga Swiatek beat Sofia Kenin to become the youngest French Open female winner in 43 years
It was a frustrating day for fourth seed Kenin (above) who won this year’s Australian Open
‘I’m so happy and glad that my family was finally here. It’s crazy, two years ago I won a junior Grand Slam and right now I’m here,’ said the former junior Wimbledon winner. ‘I was mentally consistent and wanted to play aggressive like in other rounds. Today was stressful for me.’
Swiatek came into the final having lost just 23 games in six matches and she began in the manner of someone playing with that kind of confidence.
She raced to 3-0 lead against an edgier opponent, who took fifteen minutes to settle down and break back for 3-2.
Swiatek was a junior Grand Slam winner just two years ago and has now lifted a senior trophy
The Polish teenager hit a brilliant forehand winner on her first Championship Point chance
Like everyone the American, playing before a sparse and government limited crowd of 1,000, was struggling to absorb the easy power of the Pole’s groundstrokes, which were interspersed with delicate drop shots.
Swiatek broke for 5-3 but was hesitant in closing it out, netting a straightforward backhand on her first set point. She made amends in the next game by breaking at 15-40 when Kenin swept a backhand wide.
The American began the second set by breaking serve, but then lost two games and called the trainer for a medical timeout to have strapping administered on her upper left thigh, leaving the court for the second time.
Kenin needed a trainer at the beginning of the second set as she struggled with injury
Rather than stewing on it the Pole smiled at her few vociferous fans in the crowd and then after the resumption walloped a succession of winners to break again for 3-1.
There was no looking back after that, playing as carefree as if she was in a public park.
Supporters wore face masks as tennis fans watched their first Grand Slam final in months