Cambridge students up next for Pole star Iga Swiatek with French Open winner set to spend part of off-season at the university
- Iga Swiatek won the French Open women’s singles title against Sofia Kenin
- The world No 54 won the Roland Garros final in comfortable fashion 6-4, 6-1
- Unseeded Swiatek is the youngest female French Open winner in 43 years
The new teenage superstar of tennis will face a University Challenge at Cambridge as she looks to build on her remarkable French Open success.
Once recovered from lifting the Roland Garros trophy without dropping a set, Iga Swiatek will spend part of her off-season next month in the famous seat of learning.
It is an appropriate enough place to visit for a 19-year-old who spurned rushing her development in favour of carrying on her educational studies, with remarkable results. In Saturday’s final she thrashed Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1.
New teenage superstar of tennis Iga Swiatek will face a University Challenge at Cambridge
Swiatek will spend time with British coach and former Davis Cup player Nick Brown, who has long-standing links with Polish tennis players and has served as a mentor to the new Paris champion.
Among Brown’s other responsibilities is looking after the Cambridge University Blues team, and soon some of them will get to hit with the hottest property in the international game.
‘I will definitely get some of the better players to practise with her, and that should be a great incentive for them,’ he told Sportsmail.
The David Lloyd Centre in Cambridge is an unlikely place to find a fresh Grand Slam winner, but Brown has worked alongside Swiatek’s main coach Piotr Sierzputowski in bringing her through.
Swiatek thrashed Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 in Saturday’s final
He was with her when she won junior Wimbledon two years ago, a triumph which was extraordinary in its own way.
‘Unlike most players, she didn’t play the preceding event at Roehampton and just went straight into it, having never played on grass before,’ recalled Brown. ‘She played the top seed in the first round (American Whitney Osuigwe), lost the first set and then worked out how to beat her in the next two.
‘She came off court saying she didn’t like grass. Finally, after winning the title, she came off court and said she liked it after all.
‘I pointed to the Centre Court and told her that she could be winning the final there in five years’ time.
Swiatek was a junior Grand Slam winner just two years ago and has now lifted a senior trophy
‘I didn’t expect her to win a Grand Slam so soon after that, but one of the abilities she has is to process information very quickly and put it into action.
‘There are some players you can say things to and it never goes in, but she won’t leave the practice court until she feels on top of something she is learning.’
Brown, 59, believes her emphasis on education is part of that. ‘She is very intelligent. She didn’t really stop studying until May this year,’ he said
‘After she won the Wimbledon juniors, one of the first things she said was that this would not mean she was going to give up her studies.
‘She is very adaptable, which is why I think she will be able to modify her game to win the main event at Wimbledon one day, like Rafael Nadal did.’
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