Iga Swiatek's staggering act in victory speech at French Open

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Iga Swiatek, pictured here sending a message to Ukraine while wearing their flag on her hat at the French Open.
Iga Swiatek sent a message to Ukraine while wearing their flag on her hat at the French Open. Image: Getty

Iga Swiatek has sent a powerful message to Ukraine after beating Coco Gauff to win the French Open title on Saturday.

The World No.1 extended her winning streak to 35 matches after beating the American teenager 6-1 6-3 to claim her second French Open title.

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Swiatek is the only Polish player ever to win a grand slam, and the tears flowed in the post-match ceremony when her national anthem played.

"I just told Coco, 'Don't cry,'" Swiatek said, "and what am I doing right now?!"

She interrupted herself a few times during her victory speech, at one point admonishing herself.

"Oh, my God. It seems like I still need some experience," she said to laughter from the crowd.

But she also gathered her thoughts well enough to offer support and wishes of hope for Ukraine.

"Stay strong, because the world is still there," Swiatek told Ukrainians, whose blue-and-yellow flag is represented by a ribbon she has been wearing on her white cap during matches.

Iga Swiatek, pictured here delivering her victory speech after winning the French Open.
Iga Swiatek delivers her victory speech after winning the French Open. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

"Since my first speech in Doha [in February], basically I was hoping that when I was going to do the next one the situation is going to get better, but I'm still going to have hopes and try to support.

"Thank you guys and see you next year."

Swiatek has worn the blue and yellow flag on her cap ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

“The war is still there and people are suffering,” the 21-year-old said.

“Many players have taken off the ribbons and there is huge discussion about next tournaments and points.

"It’s not about that but the whole situation there and I want people to be aware.”

Iga Swiatek the dominant force in women's tennis

Swiatek also paid a classy tribute to Gauff, who was reduced to tears after the match and during her speech.

“You are doing an amazing job. At your age, I was on my first year on tour and I did not know what I was doing. You will find it, I am sure of that," she told her fallen opponent.

Gauff, in her first major final at age 18 and just weeks removed from celebrating her high school graduation, never stood much of a chance against Swiatek.

The World No.1's unbeaten streak stretches back to February and equals the run of Venus Williams in 2000 as the longest this century.

"The past couple months have truly been amazing and you totally deserve it," the 18th-seeded Gauff told her 21-year-old opponent.

"Hopefully we can play each other in more finals, and maybe I can get a win on you one of these days!"

Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek, pictured here with their trophies after the French Open final.
Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek pose with their trophies after the French Open final. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

Having won her past six tournaments, improving to 42-3 this season, Swiatek has emerged as a dominant figure in women's tennis in the wake of Ash Barty's retirement.

Serena Williams has been out of action for nearly a year and Australia's three-time major champ Barty announced in March she was retiring at age 25.

Since then Swiatek has done nothing but win, asserting herself as the dominant force in women's tennis.

"Two years ago, winning this title was something amazing. Honestly, I wouldn't expect it, ever," Swiatek said.

"But this time, I feel like I worked hard and did everything to get here, even though it was pretty tough. The pressure was big."

with AAP

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