#RolandGarros #Iga #Swiatek #extends #reign
Usually when a monarch is crowned, cannon fire marks the celebration. In Paris, some thunder served for the coronation of Iga Swiatek, on Saturday June 4. While across the Channel a crowned head celebrates its platinum jubilee this weekend, the young Pole has established herself as the queen of her discipline. Winner of the young American Cori Gauff in the final (6-1, 6-3) in just over an hour of play, the world number 1 won the Parisian Grand Slam tournament for the second time.
Landed at Porte d’Auteuil as the favourite, Iga Swiatek took on the weight. She, who had won the fall 2020 edition -the pandemic forces-, to everyone’s surprise, did not advance in the shadows this time. “I worked a lot to be able to win here again. It was difficult, the pressure was enormous.admitted the Pole after lifting the Suzanne-Lenglen Cup.
“In 2020, I felt confused, because I really didn’t think I could win a Grand Slam.explained Iga Swiatek at a press conference. But there it was different: it is pure work. All the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place. »
In order not to be one of the -many- queens without a future in women’s tennis, the Pole rolled up her sleeves after her first coronation. She is reaping the rewards two years later.
“Something better than Serena Williams”
“I don’t think I’ve faced anyone playing better tennis than Iga today”Cori Gauff greeted after her loss. “She was too strong. She does everything very well on the court. »
For the young American, only Australian Ashleigh Barty rivaled the Pole in intensity and level of play, but as the winner of the last Australian Open opted to abdicate and put her rackets away in the spring (at 25), Swiatek regained the crown number 1 in the world. And she spreads her wings, like the “Orzel bialy”, the white eagle that adorns the coat of arms of Poland.
Since February 22, the Warsaw native has not lost a single match. On Saturday he chained a thirty-fifth consecutive success, equaling the American record Venus Williams, but still far from the absolute record, held by the American Martina Navratilova and her seventy-four consecutive victories between 1983 and 1984.
“What I am most proud of is that I have done something better than Serena [Williams] »the player smiled. The American with twenty-three Grand Slam titles has not exceeded thirty-four wins in a row. “In tennis, breaking records after Serena is almost impossible. »
On Saturday, the Polish girl left little hope for her young opponent. Iga Swiatek has sometimes mentioned a female counterpart to Rafael Nadal, whom she continues to adore. His hard topspin forehands left Cori Gauff defenseless; the Pole became a steamroller, suffocating her opponent. “Even when she managed to chain the blows, she didn’t let anything go. There’s a reason she’s been on this winning streak.”Gauff acknowledged.
If the storm rumbled in the distance, just before the end of the match, thunder came from Iga Swiatek’s racket. ” [Iga], it’s dynamite on the ground. When you have dynamite, you can’t play defense.”, portrayed his coach Tomasz Wiktorowski, interviewed by Agence France-Presse after the meeting. For the man who has led the World No. 1 since the offseason and has chosen to focus on his strengths, “This is just the beginning of this adventure”.
Now she lives disguised as number 1 in the world.
Last year, Iga Swiatek met Rafael Nadal for breakfast at the hotel, the day after the Spaniard’s semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic. “I told him I had been crying all night.the player said. But he replied, “It’s just a tennis match, you know, we win, we lose, that’s life.” » The Pole hopes to be inspired by “That detachment that great champions like him have”. In view of the way he negotiated his final exams, he got the gist.
Because since 2020, there is a general truth in tennis: Iga Swiatek does not lose once you reach the final. On Saturday, the Pole won her ninth final in as many tournaments, without dropping a set. “I try to approach them like any game.the player explained, acknowledging that it is not easy. I am also aware that my opponents will be stressed and I try to be a little less than them. »
The player recognized him, she feels “prepared for what will come next”. The solicitations, the pressure, she has prepared for it and now lives in her world number 1 costume. At the end of her speech, glass in hand, the young woman wanted “Say a few words for Ukraine”, eliciting a standing ovation. The one who plays all her matches with a small Ukrainian flag nailed to her cap explains that by taking the lead in the WTA ranking (which governs the women’s circuit) she “He felt a kind of court order to speak”so she tries to take “subjects that [lui] you really care.”
During the tournament, Iga Swiatek attacked the reading of Three Musketeers. Unlike her speed on the court, this great reader – who tells the progress of her reading throughout the circuit, transforming certain press conferences into improvised reading clubs – recognized “move slowly” in the work of Alexandre Dumas.
The player, whose shoes bear the mention “team Swiatek”, and who ran to the stands – as in 2020 – as soon as match point was played to hug her loved ones, continues to consider tennis as a team sport. Her new queen of discipline, Iga Swiatek hardly needs a close guard of musketeers to defend her. But in this moment, “All for one” could become their motto.