This match will be in terms of combined age the youngest Grand Slam final in twelve years. Iga Swiatek is a 19-year-old Polish player who has never made it further than a quarter final in any tour level event. These two weeks she’s been on the run of a lifetime, coming in unseeded she has ripped through the draw without losing a set.
Sofia Kenin already knows what it takes to win a Slam, having won in Melbourne this season. Three weeks ago in Rome she was blown out by Azarenka without winning a game, now she’s in her second Slam final, a remarkable turn around.
This is an unlikely match, one that nobody could have predicted, which sometimes makes for great drama.
Why Kenin will win
The 21 year old is a grinder; I said in the Australian final preview she is the Amanda Coetzer of 2020. She’s done well to forget the Rome debacle and with the change of balls for Roland Garros it suits her style of play, so it’s no surprise if she could put it together she’s in this final. Defeating Kvitova in the semi was huge, a player she’d never beaten. This will be the one more shot match, if she can make Swiatek play ‘one more shot’ in the rallies then Kenin will win.
Why Swiatek will win
Destroying Halep in the 4thround has given Iga a shot of confidence. When a player gets hot they are hard to stop, no matter where their ranking lies. The Pole has all the shots, raw power from the baseline, a sneaky quick serve and good drop shot, which is always handy on the clay.
If she keeps this level there won’t be much Sofia can do, but finishing points at the net could be key. If she lets Kenin run all day that will be a problem.
These two have never played, which always adds to the fun, because we never know what we’ll get. So much of this match is up to Iga, it will be the biggest match of her life, by a long shot. There is a chance she’ll freeze’, but the beauty of being only 19 means you don’t overthink it. Remember a 19-year-old Sampras blasting Agassi away in the ’90 US Open final; he just came out whacking winners.
This should be the Iga strategy, its basically what she’s done for two weeks, she’s only lost 23 games the whole tournament. It will be interesting to see if Kenin wins the first set can Iga recover? After such dominance when all of a sudden you’re behind things can get away quick.
I’m betting Iga doesn’t blink, she’s running hot and even though the weather forecast is a chilly 14 degrees for the final she’ll continue to run hot.
We will have a first time Grand Slam Champion in Iga Swiatek.