Iga Swiatek Column: French Open champion celebrates on the Seine and sees Robert Lewandowski

Iga Swiatek Column: French Open champion celebrates on the Seine and sees Robert Lewandowski

Iga Swiatek

After winning the French Open title on Saturday, WTA world number one Iga Swiatek uses the latest BBC Sport column from Roland Garros to talk about the aftermath of the triumph.

The 21-year-old from Poland, who also won in Paris in 2020, defeated American teenager Coco Gauff in a straight set to extend her winning streak to 35 games.

It may disappoint many readers, but I did not have much time on Saturday night to celebrate the Roland Garros title.

The next morning I took a photo with a trophy and had to wake up very early. But it does not mean that I was not happy or complaining!

I had a very good dinner with my team and it was good to spend the evening with them after many intense and exhausting weeks we had.

I did not need much to be happy after this final.

I just needed a little calmer time to appreciate my accomplishments, my life and the good people around me.

Before I went to bed on Saturday night, my last thought was how grateful I was.

As I wrote in my post on social mediaexternal link After the final, I thought about my recent achievements – winning six tournaments in a row and becoming number one in the WTA world – and discovered that my team and I walked together on our own path.

Sometimes it is different from other groups. But we were focused on what we can control and this success is our reward for work, effort and commitment.

Last year was not easy for me. I wrote in a previous column at the Australian Open how I felt that my whole world had been turned upside down after the victory of Roland Garros in 2020.

There were a lot of expectations in 2021 from me and other people. Everyone wanted to see if I was as good as I was at Roland Garros.

It was really hard enough, but I did not give up on the things and methods I believe in.

Now I’m here, enjoying the time when hard, systematic work paid off.

Iga Swiatek column
Iga Swiatek won its sixth consecutive title with a triumph at the French Open, following victories in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome.

On Sunday I had the photo of the traditional champion with the Roland Garros trophy. The tournament chose a very beautiful spot on a bridge overlooking the Eiffel Tower: Pont de Bir-Hakeim.

I love the scenery of the river Seine.

Unfortunately, after that I could not return to Roland Garros to watch the men’s final between Rafael Nadal – who is my idol in tennis – and Casper Rudd at the stadium due to my flight back home. But I managed to watch part of the match on my laptop.

I am glad that Rafa proved once again that it is difficult to beat him on the soil of Paris. It is the undisputed legend of this tournament.

“Simple pleasures and standing oar in Warsaw”

So, I returned to Warsaw on Sunday and will spend the necessary time at home before starting the season on the grass.

I dream of enjoying simple pleasures, really. Washing my clothes, cleaning my room, sleeping in my own bed, talking to my family over breakfast or dinner, and meeting my friends.

Watching some TV series in my bed and eating a good dessert too.

Maybe I will also spend some time by the water on upright oars – this is something else I really enjoy doing.

After so many weeks touring and playing until the end in six tournaments in a row, I just have to be home. That makes me so happy.

I have to recharge, to appreciate that I am here and now, in the moment. On tour there is always something to do, lots of people around.

So I would summarize it as follows: I plan to change my function from fast to slow life.

Even if it is for a short time before the hard work starts again soon.

“Seeing Lewandowski was a huge surprise”

Iga Swiatek sees Robert Lewandowski in her box
Polish footballer Robert Lewandowski used a break in Nations League matches to watch Swiatek in Paris

When I won the final on Saturday, I ran off the field and went to my box to celebrate with my team – then I saw Robert Lewandowski there a few rows behind them.

I was surprised because I did not know he was there.

My team and management knew this, but they decided not to tell me not to get distracted.

It was a good decision because for me it is important to keep my routine, especially in such important races. My team knows me well, so they are allowed to keep things like that from me.

It was an honor to see Robert. I’m glad he wanted to watch my match and enjoy my tennis.

I first met him two years ago when he won a Polish award for best athlete of the year and took second place.

He is the best Polish athlete, I know he worked hard to find himself in this position and I admire this approach to the systematic, step-by-step work process.

Football is a much more popular sport than tennis, not only in Poland, so I hope Robert’s interest in our sport could be beneficial and encourage people outside of it to discover it.

I would also like to use my status as a way to attract more people to tennis, especially in Poland.

I feel like we can do a lot to convince the kids that tennis is a fun sport to try to make it more accessible.

That’s a big goal for me. I hope to continue to win trophies and inspire many people.

Iga Swiatek spoke with Jonathan Jurejko of BBC Sport in Paris.

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