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Sizzling Stars: Swiatek ready to defend Roland Garros trophy
In 2020, she flew under the radar. In 2021, all eyes will be on the Polish power player.
Published Jun 02, 2021
WATCH: Iga Swiatek captures opening round win on the terre battue at Roland Garros.
All of Iga Swiatek's tennis dreams felt so distant before Roland Garros last year. She walked into the tournament as a non-seeded player, but round by round, those unfamiliar with Swiatek learned her name, and game.
It was a big tournament for both qualifiers and lower-ranked players as many reached the deeper rounds of the major event. Swiatek easily moved past Simona Halep, 6-1, 6-2, before taking out two qualifiers to reach the final round. The Polish player not only found herself in a Grand Slam final, but she did so in dominating fashion and without dropping a single set.
From there, the rest is history (literally), but what will 2021 look like for this sizzling star? She's already moved one step closer to defending her title, defeating Kaja Juvan, 6-0, 7-5, to begin her campaign.
A Spark Ignites
It's really no surprise Swiatek is doing incredibly well on the tour, she reached the singles quarterfinals and semifinals in Paris at the junior level and held a Top 5 ranking. The teenager also ended her junior career on the highest of notes, reaching the last four at Roland Garros in singles and taking the doubles crown with American Caty McNally.
Weeks later, she would claim her first and only junior Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon. She defeated top seed Whitney Osuigwe in three sets in her opener and cruised her way to the title without dropping a set.
A Major Triumph
By now we all most likely know the story of Swiatek's astonishing run in Paris. But let's cover some of the history she made by defeating 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the event's final.
The major win made her the first-ever Polish player to hoist a Grand Slam singles trophy. It also made her the youngest singles champion (19 years old) at the event since Rafael Nadal in 2005.
Running through Rome
The teenager is having a great season and even better clay-court swing, she's reached the last 16 in five of six tournaments played this year. Following her Round of 16 appearance at the Australian Open she picked up her first title of the season by ousting Belinda Bencic in the Adelaide final.
Not to mention, the Pole is fresh off winning her first WTA 1000 event in Rome, where she only dropped a single set en route to capturing the title. In the final round, she took out Karolina Pliskova with a dominating 6-0, 6-0 scoreline on the red stuff.
In 2021, things are much different for Swiatek and it will be interesting to see how this sizzling star performs with all eyes on her this time around.