What happened over the past few days during Roland Garros was something the Polish tennis fans could only dream of for many years. Although Agnieszka Radwańska and Jerzy Janowicz used to perform outstandingly on the international courts, along with Łukasz Kubot, who is still brilliant in doubles, up until now, we had lacked the icing on the cake – a Grand Slam championship in singles. Even though Iga Świątek has always been considered a great hope for this discipline in Poland, just two weeks ago barely anybody would have thought she would make the fans’ dreams come true in Paris.
Agnieszka Radwańska is the most successful Polish tennis player in recent years, who has accomplished great things – for over 10 years she was among the top leading players in women’s tennis, in which the competition back then was incredibly tough. The time when Serena Williams was dominating the tennis scene, and Maria Sharapova along with Victoria Azarenka were trying to keep up with her, fell on the prime time of the famous “Isia” as well. The tennis player from Cracow was for many years the only strong Polish accent on the international courts. Despite being ranked. No. 2 in the WTA Rankings, being a Wimbledon finalist and winning 22 WTA tournaments, the Polish fans always felt a little dissatisfaction because of a lack of the Grand Slam championship.
For some time, the Polish fans believed that Jerzy Janowicz would be the one to win it for the first time. Unfortunately, a combination of health issues and some wrong decisions allowed him to present his best skills only during the ATP tournament in Paris and Wimbledon semi-finals, but did not let him settle in, so that he could think of succeeding in Grand Slam in the long term. In a few days, Janowicz will become 30 and although he is still thought to play at a decent level, nobody expects him to be a successful Grand Slam competitor anymore.
As Iga Świątek paved the way to the ITF tournaments as a 15-year-old girl and won the Roland Garros and Wimbledon Junior Championships (both in 2018), she gained recognition as a junior Grand Slam player. Then she quickly advanced to the top-ranked tournaments and she has been present in the WTA Tour for quite a few months now.
As it often happens to young tennis players, especially those whose playing style is so risky and aggressive, like in the case of Świątek, she had her ups and downs. The experts anticipated that once she managed to become consistent over the course of days and matches, it would be incredibly difficult to stop her. This happened in the best possible moment, during Roland Garros, when Iga’s domination was unquestionable. In the beginning, even after she had defeated the last year’s finalist, Markéta Vondroušová, surely nobody found her a safe bet to win the entire tournament. This totally changed though after the 4th round once she beat Simona Halep, who left the court with only 3 games won! Later there was a lot of talk going on about Świątek and her real chances to win the title, but she handled it well and went on the court to beat the next rivals. She ended up winning the final against Sofia Kenin, which was a key to new career opportunities. Now the world is her oyster.
This success is invaluable not only for Świątek herself, but also for all her Polish fans, who can eventually brag about their first Grand Slam champion ever! Now, they hope for Świątek to stay on a winning streak and learn from her older fellow colleague, Agnieszka Radwańska, how to fit in with her rivals and to be at the top of her game for years.