Swiatek helps revive tennis in Poland

    222

    WARSAW. — The success of Poland’s Iga Swiatek has helped bring a WTA women’s tournament back to the country’s coast after an absence of more than 10 years and local fans will get the chance to see her play, the organizers said.

    Teenager Swiatek crushed American Sofia Kenin 6-4 6-1 to triumph at the rescheduled French Open in October and became Poland’s first Grand Slam singles champion.

    The 19-year-old was also the youngest woman to win the title since Monica Seles in 1992, the first Polish woman to reach the Roland Garros final in 81 years and the first at any major since Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon in 2012.

    “For sure Iga’s result inspired us and helped (us) to organize this tournament. Such ideas have been around for a long time, but it was quite hard to put many things together,” Iga’s father Tomasz, CEO of the tournament’s organizers Tennis Consulting, told Reuters.

    “To organize such a tournament there must also be the interest of sponsors. . . (Iga’s success) definitely helped. . .”

    The event will take place from July 17-25 in Gdynia, northern Poland, with the total prize pool of $235,000, the organizers said.

    Poland has eased some novel coronavirus-related restrictions nationwide, opening ski slopes as well as cinemas, hotels, and theatres up to 50% capacity, but authorities say the measures may have to be rolled back as cases rise again. – Reuters