Poland’s Iga Swiatek made history Saturday as the first from her country to win a major singles trophy and the most unheralded woman to win a Grand Slam tournament.
The 19-year-old Swiatek beat American Sofia Kenin, 21, to win the first major title of her career with a dominant 6-4, 6-1 victory in barely one hour and 24 minutes.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Swiatek said on court, NBC Sports reported. “It’s just overwhelming for me. It’s crazy. Two years ago, I won junior Grand Slam [at Wimbledon]. Now, I’m here.”
As the 54th-ranked player, Swiatek was the second lowest-ranked woman to reach the final in Paris since 1975, when the Women’s Tennis Association rankings were introduced.
She is the first woman to win a major in more than 40 years without having cracked the world’s top 47, too, according to NBC Sports. Women have won Grand Slams with lower rankings at the time, but they were former top-20 players coming back from injury, pregnancy or retirement.
Kenin, 21, had hoped to clinch her second major title of the year after winning the Australian Open in February.
The French Open was postponed from May-June to September-October because of the coronavirus pandemic. Crowds are limited to only 1,000 per day.
This was not the first time Kenin and Swiatek face each other.
A little more than four years ago in Paris, Swiatek beat Kenin 6-4, 7-5 in the third round of the French Open junior event.
“I remember I lost. I don’t remember how I played,” Kenin said prior to Saturday’s match. “Of course, we’re both different players now.”