I felt whole country was supporting me: Świątek after French Open victory

Iga Świątek with Roland Garros Trophy. Photo: PAP/EPA/IAN LANGSDON

Iga Świątek, the 19-year Polish tennis player who won the Roland Garros French Open Grand Slam on Saturday told a press conference that she really felt that the whole of Poland was supporting her during the final of the competition.

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On Saturday in Paris, Iga Świątek defeated Sofia Kenin of the US 6:4, 6:1 and became the first Polish tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles’ tournament.

“For two hours I was looking through messages with congratulations and did not go through all of them. I felt that the whole country was supporting me, it really helps,” she said on the roof of the Lafayette Gallery in Paris.

“I will need a few more days to look at all of it with another perspective and settle down with all of what has happened. I am still a bit shocked with all those duties with media, photo sessions,” Świątek told the press conference.

“I was not satisfied with how I was playing after the COVID-19 break. We worked a lot in Warsaw, especially after the tournament in Rome [Światek was knocked out in the first round – ed.]. I think I had a mental breakthrough, I allowed myself not to have a lot of expectations, but just focus on the work. And this was the key to the success,” she said.

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Although Świątek declared that she will not participate in any further tournaments this year, she does not want to stop training. “We will be preparing for the next season, because, after all, popularity is one thing, but the work is necessary,” she emphasised.

“My dream for my whole career is to win all the Grand Slams and win a medal at the Olympic Games, but to be honest, I have not thought about [further plans] yet,” she stressed. The upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo were postponed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday Świątek was also asked about comparisons with Agnieszka Radwańska, a successful ex-Polish tennis player. “She did not win a Grand Slam, but had been among the best players for 12 years or more. Many people compare me to her, but I still have to do a lot to be the best ever tennis player in Poland,” she said.

Agnieszka Radwańska announced her retirement in late 2018. She was only 29 years old, but managed to win 20 singles’ tournaments, including WTA Finals, and reached second place in the WTA ranking. Radwańska made it to a Grand Slam final (Wimbledon in 2012), but was unable to defeat Serena Williams.