Iga Swiatek hopes to follow in Naomi Osaka’s footsteps and become multiple Grand Slam winner

Iga Swiatek says her main goal is to become “consistent” after becoming Poland’s first singles Grand Slam champion with a sensational run at the French Open.

At 54 in the world, Swiatek is the lowest-ranked woman ever to win the French Open after victory over Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in Saturday’s final.

She is the youngest winner since Monica Seles in 1992, while her success has been celebrated widely back home, with former greats of the game predicting glowing futures for the Pole.

Swiatek is the latest young woman to win a major title – seven of the last eight have been claimed by players aged 23 or under – and most have found the subsequent rise in pressure and expectation hard to deal with.

What an amazing success, what a great story! Good job @iga_swiatek 🎾👏🤜🤛

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Among the current crop of young Grand Slam champions, Swiatek’s good friend Naomi Osaka is the only one who has so far been able to go on and win more titles.

She hopes she can follow in Osaka’s footsteps, saying: “I think the biggest change for me is going to be to be consistent. I think this is what women’s tennis is struggling with.

“That’s why we have so many new grand slam winners because we are not as consistent as Rafa (Nadal), Roger (Federer), and Novak (Djokovic). That’s why my goal is going to be to be consistent. It’s going to be really hard to achieve that.”

💥🙈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

Swiatek, the Wimbledon junior champion two years ago, only lost 28 games in seven matches, including a dismantling of top seed Simona Halep in the fourth round for the loss of just three games.

The teenager said: “I’m just proud of myself. I’ve done a great job the past two weeks. I wasn’t expecting to win this trophy. It’s obviously amazing for me. It’s a life-changing experience.

“I need to come back home first, see what’s going on in Poland. I know it’s going to be crazy. I think I’m going to get used to that, it’s not going to be a problem for me. I didn’t have problem with getting attention, with people surrounding me.

“I really appreciate all the support I got during the whole two weeks. Even though I wasn’t on my phone and I wasn’t answering every person, I know that the whole country was behind me and they all believed in me.”

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Niesamowity, historyczny sukces @iga_swiatek w #rolandgarros2020 . Ten dzień przechodzi do historii Polski, polskiego sportu i polskiego tenisa. Dziękujemy! Gratulujemy z całego serca i bijemy brawo na stojąco Pani Igo! #100lat! 😁👍🇵🇱🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹 https://t.co/1o40QJfWzv

Poland’s president Andrej Duda tweeted: “Incredible, historic success @iga_swiatek in #rolandgarros2020 . This day goes down in the history of Poland, Polish sport and Polish tennis. Thank you! Congratulations with all our hearts and we applaud Mrs. Igo standing!#100lat !”

Swiatek cited keeping her expectations low as the reason she was able to handle her first Grand Slam final with such aplomb.

She said: “It was so crazy for me winning against Simona (Halep) that I already thought about the tournament as my lifetime achievement. Really, I had no expectations.

“I knew it was going to be tough in the final. I didn’t want to stress a lot about it, so I just told myself that I don’t care and I tried to believe in that. I think at the end, I really just enjoyed the moment.

“It’s not that I don’t care if I’m going to win or lose, I’m just not thinking about it all the time. I’m focusing on the things I do right now because winning is just an effect of my work that I’m doing every minute.”

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