Iga Swiatek handed top-seeded Simona Halep a 6-1, 6-2 defeat in the Roland-Garros fourth round on Sunday to avenge her exit to the Romanian last year in Paris at the very same stage.
The 19-year-old Pole produced a devastating performance against the 2018 champion to storm into a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final.
The 54th-ranked Swiatek, a former Wimbledon junior champion and Roland-Garros junior doubles champion, fired 30 winners and won 81 per cent of her first-serve points, wrapping up the win in just 68 minutes.
“I don’t know what happened actually, I felt like I was playing perfectly, I was so focused the whole match, even I am surprised that I can to that,” an elated Swiatek told Cedric Pioline on court.
Halep, who crushed Swiatek in a 45-minute rout in the French capital last year before falling to American teenager Amanda Anisimova, was on a 17-match winning streak entering the contest on Sunday and has now suffered her earliest Roland-Garros exit since 2016.
“I wasn’t experienced at all then, that was my first match on a big stadium like that, so I was pretty stressed,” Swiatek said of her fourth-round defeat to Halep last year.
“Since then, I’ve made huge progress because I’ve played a few big matches, against Simona, against Caroline Wozniacki and Naomi Osaka, and I think it helped me a lot and now I feel like I can handle the pressure.
“But also I remember I lost against Simona last year and she lost against Amanda in the next round, so I felt that maybe I can do the same scenario, but we just change the names.”