PARIS, France -- Iga Swiatek's two-week journey from dangerous floater to Grand Slam champion at Roland Garros captivated the media after she stormed to the French Open title with her seventh consecutive straight-set win over Sofia Kenin.
"There are breakthroughs and then there are raids," wrote Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim. "At the 2020 French Open, we got an example of the latter. Ranked outside the top 50 and without a pro title in her brief career, Iga Swiatek came to Paris and blazed through the draw, dropping no sets."
"In the biggest match of her life, she sustained her level, marrying courtcraft with unanswerable power and rolling over an opponent," Wertheim continued.
SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ: 'A star is born' - History-making Swiatek lauded after French Open win
“Swiatek came out of the blocks on the most auspicious occasion of her career and performed with the same verve, tenacity and stability she had demonstrated all tournament long," Steve Flink at tennis.com concluded.
Just earlier in the tournament, the World No.54 “was unsure whether she would commit to tennis long term or go to university," stated Matthew Henry at BBC. "Now the 19-year-old is a Grand Slam champion.” Swiatek is projected to rise to World No.17 on Monday's new singles rankings.
💥🙈It's hard to describe how special this day is for me. It's so strange to achieve something that seemed so distant... But yup... It's here - I'm a grand slam champion (whaaat?). Thank you @SofiaKenin for this final. I wish you all the best.💥🙈 #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/ktIShQZLnj— Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek) October 10, 2020
Swiatek has never shied away from discussing her work with her traveling sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, and in Paris, the mental work, along with the physical work, paid off for the 19-year-old.
"Mental coaches are nothing new in tennis," said Ava Wallace of the Washington Post. "But to travel with one at such a young age, without having won so much as a single title on the WTA before this French Open, is noteworthy. For Swiatek, it made a world of difference.”
"Swiatek is, rightly, open about the mental dimension to sports," Wertheim pointed out in his piece. "And Abramowicz had great advice following Swiatek’s semifinal win: don’t look at your phone.”
Swiatek also thrilled an entire country, becoming the first-ever Grand Slam singles champion from Poland, on either the women's or men's tours.
As the Polish national anthem rang out during the trophy ceremony, a masked Swiatek "could not contain her smile, which creased her eyes as the song played on," said Karen Crouse of the New York Times.
Crouse added that Swiatek "was swift to point out that she was merely extending a path that had been paved by others," specifically former World No.2 Agnieszka Radwanska.
STATS CORNER: How dominant was Swiatek's Roland Garros run?
“As Swiatek stood on the podium on Court Philippe Chatrier with the Polish national anthem playing through the speakers, tennis crowned its newest star," said D'Arcy Maine of ESPN. "In women's tennis, there have been several first-time major champions over the past few years, including Kenin, but few have been as convincing and destined for more.”
Indeed, a prevailing theme amongst pundits was Swiatek's worthy addition to a cluster of youngsters who have been collecting the Grand Slam titles of late. 19-year-old Swiatek joins 20-year-old Bianca Andreescu, 21-year-old Kenin, and 22-year-old Naomi Osaka as the winners of the last four Grand Slam events.
"In some ways, women’s tennis has not been open for the past two years," wrote The Guardian's Tumaini Carayol. "The youth have arrived and they are consistently slamming the door on the rest.”
“The common denominator between them is the contempt they have shown for custom and experience," Carayol continued. "They are here, they are good enough, and they will produce their best on the big stages in order to win.”