“First of all, I’m not very good at speeches,” Swiatek began, haltingly, “so, sorry, because I won my last tournament like two years ago, and I really don’t know who to thank.”
When she’s got a racket in her hand, it’s a whole different story. With the poise of a veteran and the shots of a champion, Swiatek wrapped up a dominating run at Roland Garros, grabbing the last six games to beat Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 in Saturday’s final.
“Two years ago, I won a junior Grand Slam, and right now I’m here. It feels like such a short time,” Swiatek said, her voice cracking. “I’m just overwhelmed.”
Swiatek (pronounced shvee-ON’-tek) is the first Polish tennis player to win a major singles trophy and said, “I know it’s pretty crazy back home” — where one newspaper’s front page was splashed with the headline “Poland Garros” ahead of the final, reports AP.
When she smacked one last forehand winner to the corner to end things, Swiatek placed her right hand over her mouth then crouched, shaking her head.
Hard to believe? Maybe. This was, after all, only her seventh major tournament; she’d never been past the fourth round at one.
But the way she played these two weeks — with powerful groundstrokes sent to corners, the occasional drop shot, terrific returning and impressive court coverage — made this outcome less of a surprise.
Swiatek lost only 28 games across seven matches and is the first woman to triumph in Paris without ceding a set since Justine Henin in 2007. She also is the first teen to win the women’s title there since Iva Majoli in 1997.
And Swiatek did it with victories over such opponents as 2018 champion Simona Halep and 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondrousova, both by scores of 6-1, 6-2.
So it made sense that Swiatek would be able to get past the fourth-seeded Kenin, even if the 21-year-old American was trying to claim her second major title of 2020 after winning the Australian Open.
“A great tournament,” Kenin told Swiatek. “A great match.”
Kenin was 16-1 in Grand Slam matches this year. But she dealt with a leg issue in the second set and showed frustration by kicking her red-white-and-blue racket after lost points.
And then there was this: She ran into the composed Swiatek, who only recently completed her high school studies and listens to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses before walking on court.
“I was just mentally consistent,” said Swiatek, who travels with a sports psychologist and meditates during changeovers, breathing slowly with her eyes closed. “I felt like today was really stressful for me, so it was kind of hard.”
This weekend is the culmination of an unusual two weeks, to say the least. The tournament was postponed form May-June to September-October because of the coronavirus pandemic; the recently rising number of COVID-19 cases in France led the government to limit the number of spectators allowed on the grounds to 1,000 each day.
Some top women, including 2019 champion Ash Barty and three-time major champ Naomi Osaka didn’t enter the event; 23-time Slam winner Serena Williams withdrew before the second round with an injury.
The temperature was in the mid-50s (low teens Celsius), with a slight breeze, and the hundreds of fans scattered in Court Philippe Chatrier were mostly subdued — other than a group that would shout Swiatek’s first name, stretching it out over several seconds each time to sound like “Eeeeeeeeeee-gah.”
Swiatek began with a 3-0 run, taking 12 of the first 15 points, delivering four winners and zero unforced errors.
No one expected Kenin — self-described as “feisty” — to go quietly. She got on the board with a hold, then broke when Swiatek double-faulted, the first sign that the magnitude of the moment might be hitting her. Soon enough, it was 3-all.
But Swiatek is nothing if not resilient. She served for the set at 5-3, and got broken, but responded right away by stealing yet another one of Kenin’s service games.
Same thing happened to begin the second set: Kenin broke for a 1-0 edge, and Swiatek broke right back. She wouldn’t lose another game on her way to her first tour-level title.
At the changeover at 2-1, Kenin left the court for a medical timeout, then returned with her left thigh wrapped.
While Kenin was gone, Swiatek stayed warm by pulling on a white jacket and hitting some serves, earning applause from spectators.
When play resumed, Swiatek needed only 12 more minutes to wrap up the victory, finishing with a 25-10 edge in winners.
All that was left was to hear the Polish anthem — never before played after a major singles final — ring out in the stadium, check out her shiny trophy and go through the speeches and interviews.
After speaking for a bit, Swiatek asked, “Should I say something else?”
She was told by the emcee that she could if she wanted.
“I have no idea,” Swiatek said. “Sorry.”
Better practice up, Iga. The tennis world expects to see more such speeches in the future.
Bangladesh national team all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz has become the father of a baby boy. He and his wife were blessed with the newborn baby on Saturday in a Dhaka hospital.
“Alhamdulillah— I am really happy to announce that I became the father of a son today. Please, keep my child in your prayers,” Mehidy wrote on his social media page announcing his fatherhood.
To stay with his wife, Mehidy took a short leave from the ongoing camp of the Bangladesh national team.
He, however, will play in the BCB President’s Cup starting from Sunday at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Till the date, Mehidy represented Bangladesh in 22 Tests, 41 ODIs and 13 T20Is. He was a batsman during his age-level cricket.
But coming into the international circuit, he developed immensely as a bowler. He played a pivotal role when Bangladesh beat England in a Test match for the first time back in 2016.
Dhaka, Oct 10 (UNB) — In an attempt to bring the game of cricket back to the field after a long hiatus forced by Covid-19, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is all set to host a three-team one-day competition— BCB President’s Cup— from Sunday. On the opening day, Najmul XI will take on Mahmudullah XI at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
The match will kick off at 1:30pm and it will be streamed live on the official Facebook page of BCB— fb.com/bcbtigercricket— for the visitors worldwide.
The BCB President’s Cup will be marked as the first competitive cricket event in Bangladesh after the long hiatus forced by the deadly coronavirus. The last competitive game was played in Bangladesh in March this year. BCB had to stop all the cricketing activities after that due to Covid-19.
Matches of this event will not be recognized by the ICC, but BCB tried everything to increase the importance of this event to the cricketers. The champions will receive prize money of BDT 1,500,00 while the runners-up will get BDT 750,00. And the man of the series will be awarded BDT 200,000 while the best batsman, bowler and fielder of the event will get BDT 100,000 each along with the man of the final.
And at the same time, the man of the match will receive BDT 50,000 after each match, while the best batsman, bowler and fielder will also receive BDT 25,000 each after every game.
“We have a good team, but I believe the most important thing is to do well in the field. I expect this event will be very competitive. We are all set to go back to cricket with the President’s Cup. But we have many things to take from it. If a young player does well, he might get a chance in the national team in future. I don’t think that the players would take it just a practice event,” Bangladesh’s ODI captain Tamim Iqbal told the media.
Bangladesh’s T20 captain Mahmudullah also said that he is happy with the team he has. He also believes that the BCB President’s Cup will be a very competitive event.
“It’s a great feeling that we are finally backing to the field to play competitive cricket. We had been training for a long time which was also a pleasant thing. Our goal is to win this event and come up champions. All the promising and experienced players are going to play in this event, so it will be very competitive. Everyone is excited about it,” Mahmudullah, whose team will take the field in the opening game, told the media after unveiling the trophy with other captains.
“We have a balanced team from top-order to the late middle-order. Both of our spin and pace-bowling departments is also good. I believe it’ll be a very good event of cricket and everyone is eager to prove their mettle,” he added.
Najmul Hossain Shanto, who will lead a team, said like the other two teams, he also has a balanced team. The 22-year-old left-handed batsman also said his team will take the field eyeing on the championship.
“I think it’ll be a very challenging event for all the team participating in this. We will play for the championship, and I believe it won’t be tough if we can play our natural game. Most of the players in our team are very young, and we are a stronger fielding side as well. Let’s see what we can do,” Najmul told the media.
A total of six matches will be played in the BCB President’s Cup before the final. The top two teams in the league phase will take on in the final which will be played on the same venue on October 23. Every match will have a reserve day. It means, in case of any interruption, the match will roll to the next day.
Fixture of BCB President Cup:
Oct 11: Mahmudullah XI vs Najmul XI
Oct 13: Mahmudullah XI vs Tamim XI
Oct 15: Tamim XI vs Najmul XI
Oct 16: Mahmudullah vs Najmul XI
Oct 19: Mahmudullah vs Tamim XI
Oct 21: Tamim XI vs Najmul XI
Oct 23: the final
The country's competitive cricket will return to the field after a gap of six months with a three-team BCB President's Cup 50-over Cricket Tournament beginning on Sunday (October 11) at the Sher- e- Bangla national stadium in Mirpur.
The event is a part of the continuing initiatives of the BCB aimed at a gradual resumption of normal cricketing activities in the country which have been disrupted since March this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The tournament is expected to provide all leading and upcoming cricketers the opportunity for some quality competitive cricket in the current situation.
Along side the national cricketers, cricketers of the High-Performance Unit and some selected players of the 2020 ICC U-19 World Cup champions Bangladesh team will play in the tournament under the leadership of Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah Riyad and Najmul Hossain Shanto.
Apart from the final, six matches will be played on league basis. Every match will have a reserve day. This means, in case of any interruption, the game will roll into the reserve day.
Each team will face each other twice with the top two teams in the points table of league basis matches will play in the final on October 23.
All the matches will take place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on day-night basis and all the matches will begin at 3:30 pm.
Due to the Covid-19 restriction, no spectator will be allowed in the stadium. The official website of BCB will update the score live. All the matches will be streamed live on BCB’s YouTube channel.
In the dying moment on Saturday, it was learnt that, the BCB is likely to introduces some prize money to make the tournament an attractive and exciting one.
The prizes include man of the match awards for every match, man of the series award, apart from prize money for the champions and runners up teams.
Mahmudullah Xl will play Najmul XI in the opening match on October 11.
In the next matches, , Mahmudullah Xl will play Tamim Xl on October 13, Naimul Xl will play Tamim Xl on October 15, Mahmudullah Xl to play Najmul Xl on October 17, Mahmudullah Xl to play Tamim Xl on October 19 while Najmul Xl to play Tamim Xl on October 21 on league basis before the final on October 23.
To ensure health and safety standards for Covid-19, the players, support staff, match officials and relevant personnel including grounds and facilities staff will be placed in a bio-secure bubble for the tournament.
Mahmud Ullah XI :Md Mahmud Ullah (Captain), Naim Sheikh, Litton Kumer Das, Mominul Haque, Mahmudul Hasan, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Shabbir Rahaman, Imrul Kayes, Hasan Mahmud, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Rubel Hossain, Mrittunjoy Chowdhury Nipun, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Rakibul Hasan, Aminul Islam Biplob.
Standby: Abu Haider Rony, Sunzamul Islam, Hasan Murad.
Najmul XI :Najmul Hossain Shanto (Captain), Soumya Sarkar, Saif Hasan, Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Mushfiqur Rahim, Towhid Ridoy, Irfan Sukkur, Pervez Hossain Emon, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammed Al-Amin Hossain, Abu Jayed Rahi, Muqidul Islam Mugdho, Nayeem Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Rishad Hossain.
Standby: Sumon Khan, Shadman Islam, Tanvir Islam.
Tamim XI :Tamim Iqbal Khan (Captain), Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Md Mithun, Shahadat Hossain Dipu, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Akbar Ali, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Md Shaif Uddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Sk Mahadi Hasan, Taijul Islam, Minhajul Abedin Afridi.
Stand by: Shafiqul Islam, Mahidul Ankon, Mehedi Hasan Rana.
In the backdrop of rising concern over violence against women, top Bangladeshi cricketers urged the authorities concerned to ensure justice and take effective steps to stop violence against women.
A series of rape incidents sparked countrywide protests prompting the government to amend the law with the death penalty as the highest punishment instead of life imprisonment.
“It's very saddening that our sisters are being tortured around the country. Please do respect women to become the real human being,” Mushfiqur Rahim, one of the mainstays of the Bangladesh team, said in a video message sent to the media.
Mushfiqur had earlier raised his voice against the ongoing violence in a post on his personal social media page. Before him, former Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan had also urged to ensure justice for the victims.
“It’s high time for us to get united and resist these inhuman socially to unmask them,” Bangladesh T20 captain, Mahmudullah Riyad, said in the video message.
Bangladesh Test captain and top-order batsman Mominul Haque said: “Let’s come up and prove that we are a human being, let’s learn how to respect women.”
Tamim Iqbal, the new ODI captain, also called to stop violence against women saying, “Let’s think about the woman members of our family, and come up to ensure the safety of every woman of the country.”
Soumya Sarkar, the left-handed top-order batsman, urged everyone to show respect to women to become real human being.
Protesters are saying that amending the current law will not help without the proper implementation of the law.
Ain O Salish Kendra, a right group, has said recently that at least 975 incidents of rapes took place between January and September this year. They claimed that most of the victims of these case are yet to get justice.
Also read: Protests against rape continue at Shahbagh