Iga Swiatek stuns with 'ruthless' act in French Open final as Rafa Nadal detail emerges

Swiatek's major triumph came as a curious detail came to light about her idol, Nadal.

Iga Swiatek is drawing comparisons with her idol and tennis legend Rafa Nadal after continuing her French Open dominance with a crushing straight-sets win over Jasmine Paolini in the Roland Garros final. Swiatek needed just 68 minutes to dismantle the Italian 12th seed Paolini 6-2 6-1 in a one-sided tournament decider on Court Philippe Chatrier to claim the fifth grand slam singles title of her career.

In a dazzling display described as "ruthless" by many fans, the 23-year-old Swiatek swept her opponent aside to clinch a third-straight French Open crown. The Pole's feat saw her become the first woman to win three in a row in Paris since Justine Henin from 2005 to 2007, and only the third in history along with Monica Seles.

Pictured left to right are tennis stars Rafa Nadal and Iga Swiatek at the French Open in 2024.
Iga Swiatek has continued her Rafa Nadal-like dominance of the French Open with a fourth title in five years. Pic: Getty

The World No.1's victory - her fourth title in five years at Roland Garros - also saw Swiatek become the youngest woman to win four French Open titles in the Open era. The pole has now won 21 matches in a row at the French Open, with her last defeat coming back in 2021. Overall, Swiatek has claimed 35 wins from her 37 matches on the Paris clay, in numbers comparable to the 'King of Clay' and her idol, Nadal.

Just like Nadal, Swiatek has clinched her fourth French Open title at the age of 23 and along with Bjorn Borg, is one of only three players to win four Roland Garros titles before the age of 24. And in another curious detail, Swiatek's fourth French Open title came on the exact date Nadal also achieved the feat at Roland Garros 16 years ago. The Spaniard even sent Swiatek a message of congratulations after her triumph.

Remarkably, Swiatek came within one point of being eliminated in the second round against Naomi Osaka but saved match point and stormed home to defeat the Japanese former World No.1. The Pole did not drop a set after that early scare and swept aside all her opponents in brutal fashion to cement her status as the 'Queen of clay'.

"I'm really proud of myself because the expectations have been pretty high from the outside. Pressure, as well. I'm happy that I just went for it and I was ready to deal with all of this. And I could win," she told reporters. "I'm a perfectionist, so there's always pressure on me. I'm fine handling my own pressure. When outside pressure hits me, it is a little bit worse. But I managed it really well at this tournament.


"It was an emotional win because I felt a lot of stress yesterday and today in the morning. And I knew if I'm going to just focus on tennis I can kind of fight through it, and at the end it all went how I wanted." Paolini was playing in her first grand slam final and tried to go toe-to-toe with the defending champion early. The approach had some success as she grabbed the first break but that was as good as it got as Swiatek hit her stride and allowed Paolini just four more points in the set.

Seen here, Iga Swiatek lifts the French Open trophy aloft after winning the women's final.
Iga Swiatek swept aside Italian Jasmine Paolini in the French Open women's final in 2024 to claim her third straight title at Roland Garros. Pic: Getty

Chris Evert, the great seven-time French Open champion who co-presented the Suzanne Lenglen trophy to Swiatek along with fellow great Martina Navratilova, watched the display in awe, predicting: "There's no doubt in my mind that she'll match me and then even win more than I did. She's still young. She's gonna rack 'em up. After those first three games, she's played unbeatable tennis. It was almost mechanical, robotic - and I mean that as a compliment."

The ruthless Swiatek almost bagelled Paolini after going 5-0 up in the second set but the Italian was given a standing ovation after finally getting on the scoreboard. It merely delayed the inevitable thought as Swiatek closed out the tournament to become the first woman since Serena Williams to complete the Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros clay-court treble in the same season.

with agencies