“Stay strong, since the war continues to be there,” she said as the gang applauded her message at length under the now-closed roof.
Swiatek, an avid reader and excellent student during her high-school years, is a very thoughtful and engaged young champion. Gauff, the prodigy from Delray Beach, Fla., is a very thoughtful and engaged runner-up, prepared to make use of her sports success to talk out on social issues, like gun violence in the USA, which she did after her semifinal victory over Martina Trevisan on Thursday.
Just 4 years ago, they each played within the French Open girls tournament, with Gauff winning the title and Swiatek losing within the semifinals. But Swiatek, nearly three years Gauff’s elder, has stormed to the front of the ladies’s game since then along with her aggressive style, powerful package of skills and detail-oriented approach to training.
She is certainly one of the primary tennis players to travel with a full-time performance psychologist, Daria Abramowicz, and despite ending in the highest 10 last 12 months, she switched coaches within the off-season, hiring Tomasz Wiktorowski, who was working as a television analyst in Poland after a few years of coaching retired Polish star Agnieszka Radwanska. Swiatek had finished the 2021 season in tears, crying on court before the finish of her round-robin match on the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico. She said her “battery” was too low to have the opportunity to manage her emotions in that moment, but she decided she needed a change.
“After I got here to the team in December, I said, ‘OK lets’s start with the strengths, not the weak points,’” Wiktorowski said. “It was for me really essential for her to give attention to what she did well, not only what she needed to enhance.”
Her recent team has clicked quickly, and she or he has not lost since February, compiling a 42-3 record in 2022 and winning the titles in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome and now Paris, where she broke through in 2020, winning her first major title without losing a set.
That French Open was played within the autumn after being postponed due to coronavirus pandemic. It was played without spectators, and Swiatek’s thunderous shots echoed through the all-but-empty Chatrier Court in the ultimate rounds. But this has been a far more festive edition, with crowds making up for lost sporting events and packing the grounds and courts at Roland Garros from the beginning.