Iga Swiatek has won the 2020 French Open by defeating the Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin in the final of the competition. The 19-year-old became the first Polish player to lift the trophy at Roland-Garros, crushing Kenin 6-4, 6-1 in the title-decider.
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Kenin takes a bathroom break after the set hoping it can calm her down a tad going into the rest of the match. It seems to be working, with Swiatek going down 15-30 early thanks to some power-packed tennis from the American but she then approaches the net to finish off the next point and level it.
There still is danger, and Kenin ensures Swiatek feels the pressure, winning the very next point to earn herself a break-point. And she converts it but smashing a winner down the line to go 1-0 up.
Kenin has been in this position before in this tournament, losing the first set and coming back and showing her mettle. This might be slightly different though against a player who has been playing at another level.
The American falls behind 15-40 and while she saves the first with a solid display of defensive tennis, Swiatek is having none of that on the next as she blasts a winner following a long rally to get the break back.
That’s five successive breaks of serves now.
This looks to be the first game in a while where the server might win it, as Swiatek takes a 40-15 lead with some good serving, drawing out the errors from her opponent. A second serve into Kenin’s body forces her to hit it into the net and wins the Pole the game, the first in six games without a break.
A medical timeout here. Kenin is getting off the court to get help. Will this hinder her or slow down Swiatek’s momentum, who looks like she is having fun with the crowd!
Seven or so minutes later, Kenin returns to the court and starts off by wrong-footing her opponent only to find herself at the receiving end of back to back losses of control to Swiatek’s forehand. And then again, two more points to break the Kenin serve and take a 3-1 lead.
This is going just one way as Kenin looks to be affected by the twin-issues of her own physical state and Swiatek’s brilliance. This turns out to be the easiest hold of the match as the Pole does it to love.
It takes Swiatek to within two games of winning her first Grand Slam title.
A double-fault from Kenin gives Swiatek the early opening and the world number 54 pushes her opponent around to grab three break-points. Swiatek hits the next one close to the baseline which Kenin lets go thinking it’s either going long or wide and it does neither.
Another break. Serving for the match now, Swiatek!
Kenin misses a chance to volley the first point out of her opponent’s reach but then produces a brilliant winner to make it 15-15. Swiatek takes the next point before Kenin hits another winner down the line to make it 30-30.
Swiatek dishes out an excellent serve that gets Kenin to hit wide and gets her, her first Championship point, which she wins by hitting a winner across the Australian Open champion to lift the French Open 2020!
Swiatek wins the French Open 2020!
14 degrees celcius in Paris, and Swiatek will begin with the serve in the first game of the opening set in this women’s singles final. A quick couple of serves to start things off for the Pole and win the points off her opponent’s errors before Swiatek benefits from a net cord that lands a few miles away from the sprinting Kenin.
Three game-points for the Pole, who scoops it up with a forehand winner.
Kenin begins well winning the first point on serve but a couple of solid returns off the Swiatek racquet get her successive points on the American serve. The Pole hits one long to make it 30-30 but then forces a wide shot from the American to earn herself a break, before converting a seemingly poor position to a winning one and gets that break.
An excellent drop-shot from Swiatek after setting it up beautifully gets her on board this game before a looping serve brings out an unforced error from Kenin. Another good serve, another point give Swiatek three game-points for a 3-0 lead.
Kenin responds with an excellent return to save the first of those but a return back to net wins Swiatek the game. Eight minutes, three games which is in sharp contrast to what happened in the Nadal-Schwartzman match yesterday – 15 minutes for the first game!
Swiatek was out of balance for most early part of the first point but recovers quickly to get into a position to unleash a winner, only to hit it long. Levels the score on Kenin’s serve but a good couple of serves gets Kenin two game points.
Swiatek takes advantage of a poor second serve and wins a long-ish rally to save one of those game-points but over-pulls the triggers on a back-hand to hit it long and give Kenin her first game. Much needed for the American.
Kenin gets a chance to win her break back with a combination of some nice returning and Swiatek’s long returns, and it’s a double-fault from the Pole which gets Kenin the parity. Back on serve after a poor service game from the world number 54.
It’s a chance for Kenin to level the score, and this time around she is helped by a net cord to begin the game. That issue with hitting them long comes back to haunt Swiatek as she hits another one of them out before finally getting herself a point.
An excellent serve gives Kenin another couple of game-points. The first one of them, she fritters away with a poor backhand that goes wide but not on the second occasion to win the game and level things out at 3-3.
Swiatek’s issues in recent times have been to do do with her inability to keep the ball inside the line despite showing the kind of power she can generate off her groundstrokes.
She manages to overcome that issue for starters, with Kenin winning a point off a powerful forehand winner that catches the line and a double-fault from Swiatek after that. An excellent drop-shot surprises Kenin though and gives Swiatek a game-point.
This time around though, she hits a forehand to the net to bring it to deuce, before giving Kenin a taste of her own medicine with a forehand that catches the line. Another game point gets saved by one of the best drop-shots you would see in terms of the amount of back-spin but Swiatek gets her third of the game with, another of those, drop-shots.
Swiatek wins the game with the now-confident Kenin hits one long – she had a chance there to hit the Pole out of the point but pulled the trigger a bit too hard.
This is a vastly different Kenin from the first three games already, and this isn’t the kind of opposition Swiatek has faced so far this tournament. It will be interesting to see how she responds. For now though, Kenin is doing well on serve, winning the first two points by inducing errors from her opponent before Swiatek wins a point in the game.
A good serve is followed by Kenin hitting one wide, probably in a bid to keep the rally short but that only gets it to 30-30. Swiatek tries to hit a winner on Kenin’s second serve but narrowly misses it, but when Kenin repeats her previous error, it brings us a deuce.
The old issue comes back to haunt the Pole, who hits one too long and then, as Kenin tries out a drop shot, Swiatek is ready and covers the cross-court return well to get it back to deuce. Kenin mutters to herself in anger and it doesn’t get any better as she dishes out a double-fault.
A long rally sees both players hit some solid groundstrokes before Kenin smacks a winner cross court and screams out in delight, but another good return gets the teenager another break point of the game. An excellent serve saves the day for Kenin who then benefits from Swiatek’s inability to keep the high, loopy ball inside.
Another deuce follows, the fifth of the game, before Swiatek finally breaks with a couple of rallies that exhibit her maturity at such a young age. Serving for the set now.
A poor start to the service game followed by a double-fault gives Kenin a whiff at 15-30 but a brilliant forehand winner levels things up before she moves ahead to get a set-point thanks to the American smacking a backhand into the net.
She has her chance to wrap it up but Kenin remains in the point with some excellent defensive play and gets an advancing Swiatek to make an error to make it deuce. Kenin then takes advantage of Swiatek’s second serve to run her opponent around before winning the point and getting to her first break-point of the game, which she manages to eke out with a brilliant return.
The first couple of points on the Kenin serve are shared, before Kenin hits one wide in the middle of the rally attempting to produce a winner. Another sniff for Swiatek, and she makes it two set-points with a return that pushes the American very deep.
Kenin has a chance to kill one of those two but Swiatek remains in a tally with another display of defensive play and then lobs it over the American to get the all-important break, to clinch the set
The 2020 French Open final will see American Sofia Kenin face off against Poland’s first-time finalist Iga Swiatek in what has been a surprise match-up for many.
Kenin was a rank outsider coming into this tournament when you consider she had won the Australian Open earlier this year and that was thanks to her lack of sparkle on this surface. In fact, making things worse for her was her showing at the Italian Open.
She wasn’t quite the favourite going up against Victoria Azarenka in that opener in Rome but to be double-bagelled meant not too many gave her much of a chance. And Kenin hasn’t had it too easy either, getting dragged to three sets in a few of her matches so far including those where she has lost the opening set.
The good news is the manner in which she has fought and made it through. Even against Petra Kvitova in the semifinal, she was the second-favourite but stunned her more illustrious opponent with her solidity and play under pressure.
Kenin won that in straight sets.
Now, however, she faces an opponent in Swiatek who has the exuberance of youth along with her power-packed groundstrokes helping her through here. And the confidence from having not dropped a set and crushed Simona Halep in a manner not so different from how the Romanian had done last French Open.
Swiatek was ranked 54th before the tournament started and has already climbed up to 24th in the world. A win here should help her break into the top 20s.
Will it be Kenin’s grittiness and slightly more experience or the power of Swiatek’s groundstrokes to go with the confidence from not having dropped a set this tournament? Follow our live blog & updates here from 3 pm local time (2 pm BST or 9 am Eastern time) for the Swiatek-Kenin match.