Former Croatian tennis star Iva Majoli has lavished praise on reigning women French Open champion Iga Swiatek. Unheralded before her title run at Roland-Garros this year, the Polish starlet has seen her stock go through the roof since lifting her maiden Grand Slam trophy.
At 19, Swiatek also became the youngest since Majoli to win the French Open.
The Croat was also 19 when she captured her only Grand Slam title in 1997. Asked to assess Swiatek’s title-winning performance in her debut Grand Slam, Majoli said, “Talking about Iga, I’m very impressed about her game. I was very excited to watch her during the tournament.”
Majoli made the remarks during a live chat with former Slovak star Daniela Hantuchova.
“She was winning her matches pretty easily, feeling very confident,” Majoli said. “So she actually did remind me a little bit of myself the year that I won, even her game style and everything.”
“So, I was really, really excited for her,” Majoli added.
Touching on how much Swiatek’s run brought back golden memories of her own title-winning campaign, Majoli said, “Yeah, it (performance like Swiatek’s) does bring the memories back.”
“I mean you don’t even think about the age and probably until Roland-Garros posted it, I didn’t even realize that I was the youngest player to have won it,” Majoli said.
She also touched on the incredible run of five-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis, her opponent at the French Open final that year. Hingis had recorded an incredible unbeaten run, extending to 37-0, going into the final at Roland-Garros that year.
“Martina being so young that year, I mean, she was 37-0 until she came to the French Open final. She was only sixteen,” Majoli recalled. “We had such a young generation, those days.”
“So nobody really throught sixteen, eighteen, you know, everything was so young. But yeah, it brought the memories back,” Majoli said.
The Croat beat a phalanx of young stars on her way to winning the French Open.