In the most dramatic fashion possible, Iga Swiatek of Poland won her third French Open title and fourth career major today with a thrilling takedown of Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic.
We already knew that Swiatek was the most complete player in the women’s game. She hits every shot in the book, and a good many that have never been published. She slices. She dices. She can play at the net. She drizzles her shots with spin and hits with power. She plays offense, but also defense.
Today, however, we learned she has another weapon: a real sense of fighting. She didn’t have to deploy that in her first six matches—she did not drop a set and lost only 23 games. Today it looked like another Swiatek command performance. She won the first set 6–2 and was leading 3–0 in the second, on her way to tennis history.
Then Muchova completely turned the match on its head. Playing in her first major final, the Czech won nine of the next 11 games and suddenly held a 2–0 lead in the third set. Much like Muchova’s takedown in the semifinals of Aryna Sabalenka two days ago, this was equally an inspired comeback by the challenger and a choke by the favorite. Swiatek’s nerves were all but palpable as she projected frustration and tension. But then she did what the great ones do and figured out the riddle. She strung together three games, overcame another blip, and ended up winning seven of the last eight points to close out this most dramatic victory 6–2, 5–7, 6–4.
First credit Muchova, who failed in her bid to become the third unseeded player in the last six years (ironically the next one since Swiatek in 2020) to win the title here, but in addition to winning six matches before today, she showed real mettle in her first major final. She’ll be seeded by the time Wimbledon rolls around and is such a versatile, athletic player—a sort of Swiatek-model athlete—she won’t be unseeded for much longer.
But today is all about Iga. By her own design and disposition, she may lack the star appeal of other players. No eight-figure sponsorships. No Netflix specials. No look-at-me social media profile. But within tennis, she is a generational player, likely an all-timer. Her fourth major today moves her past Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati, among others—a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer. She just turned 22 and is the youngest player to win four majors since Serena Williams. In one sense, this is just a signpost on her way to a much bigger haul. There is nothing she doesn’t do well, today we learned that includes fighting. And don’t forget Wimbledon begins in 23 days.