Teenage girl Iga Swiatek scored a remarkable fortnight at Roland Garros by destroying Sofia Kenin in straight sets to claim the French Open title.
The 19-year-old was the story of the last Grand Slam of 2020 when her dominant win over 2018 champion Simona Halep in the fourth round announced her as a legitimate contender for the crown.
A clash with reigning Australian Open champions Kenin looked like an extremely tempting final, but after a hectic opening set it turned into a one-sided affair as Swiatek scored a 6-4-1 win over the ailing American who had severe problems to her left thigh during a medical break.
Swiatek never dropped a set in the tournament and never lost more than five games in a match. This made him the first Pole to win a Grand Slam individual title.
A letter of intent came early from Swiatek when she stuck to love in the first game and took a 3-0 lead, only Kenin proved her quality by filling that deficit with three games of her own in a row.
Swiatek broke again in a thrilling eighth game with a 19-shot rally and five deuces. Kenin reacted immediately when both players struggled to hold their serve, but a faulty backhand on the crosscourt gave Swiatek the set.
Kenin was in the mood to force a decision when a massive forehand return gave her a break in the opening game of the second, only Swiatek made a quick response and then held for a 2-1 lead.
The medical break only helped Swiatek, who went broke again when Kenin went wide with a two-handed backhand.
Swiatek continued to gain confidence as the finish line drew near and her reward for a performance defined by precision, rigorous defense, and exquisite use of the drop shot was secured with a forehand winner who made her in disbelief of her incredible performance on the Saw knees sink.
Data Slam: Net Winning Key for Swiatek
The tactic of using the drop shot on Kenin – clearly an injury to her thigh – worked perfectly. The success was reflected in the fact that Swiatek won all but one of their seven net points. The fourth seed Kenin soon ran out of answers to Swiatek's versatile game and made 23 casual mistakes.
WINNER / UNGUIDED FAULTS
Swiatek – 25/17
Kenin – 10/23
ACES / DOUBLE ERRORS
Swiatek – 1/3
Kenin – 1/3
WON BREAK POINTS
Swiatek – 6/9
Kenin – 3/3