October 10, 2020
Iga Swiatek said she could do anything – and she has just proved it.
To hear how she conquered her nerves in the second set of her stunning 6-4, 6-1 win over the talented Sofia Kenin is just so refreshing.
She revealed: ‘The crowd was having fun and cheering a lot and I realised I could also have fun.
‘I was just thankful about it all. I felt like I was having the time of my life and I decided I was going to use it.’
Why don’t other top players find the mind games so easy to conquer? Swiatek knows how. And she will continue to reap the rewards.
It seems Iga is already developing a great relationship with the tennis-loving public. Wherever she goes from here, she’s likely to get the same warm reception.
Her appreciation of shared energy in tough moments is like an open invitation to support her.
We’ll be astonished if Swiatek doesn’t receive massive backing at Wimbledon 2021.
It won’t just be the patriotic Polish who want her to win. Anyone who just likes happy, positive young people will wish her well.
But how did she take the title in straight sets at Roland Garros? Kenin is such a brave fighter.
The gritty American came back from 0-3 down in the opener to level the scores.
But Swiatek kept her cool and thwarted the comeback. Even when her concentration was temporarily broken by Kenin’s medical time-out at 2-1 in the second.
Poor Sofia needed strapping on her left thigh and was clearly hampered by the injury.
But you sensed that somehow Kenin just wouldn’t have prevailed anyway. Not against the awesome, free-flowing power she faced from across the net..
The tough American can be proud to have played in two Grand Slam finals in 2020 and won one of them.
But even Kenin couldn’t find a way to stop Swiatek and her relentless charge towards glory in Paris.
When a typically natural cross-ccourt winner sealed the impossible dream, Swiatek covered her face with a trembling hand and crouched down to take it all in.
Her attempt to seize a few moments for a little calm reflection didn’t actually work.
Even in her television interview about an hour later, she admitted this incredible victory still hadn’t sunk in.
Swiatek won’t mind. It’s the only thing that hasn’t worked for her all fortnight.
Asked how she felt, this delightful 19-year-old smiled and said: ‘I just came off court and it’s all crazy in my head. You have to ask me tomorrow.’
She’s thrilled that Poland is going crazy for her too. But all she really wants is see her family and enjoy the moment with them before she faces the more widespread clamour for her attention.
It still feels so unreal to her. And Swiatek didn’t start the fortnight feeling super-positive.
In fact she would never have believed anyone who tried to tell her two weeks ago that she would finish the tournament as champion
Swiatek revealed: ‘I would have said it isn’t logical. I told my psychologist that I had a bad draw.’
That psychologist probably deserves a massive pay-rise for putting Iga on course to thrive so emphatically over these stunning past two weeks.
And any tennis player who doesn’t seek out this expert for a session or two before Christmas is clearly missing a trick.
With the right help, Swiatek has developed the perfect mindset. A blueprint for winning big tennis matches.
Suddenly Roland Garros is Poland Garros. A new kid on the block is hitting the ball like a dream.
Iga Swiatek’s dreams have come true. What’s not to like?
We can’t wait to welcome her to Wimbledon 2021! And you too!