The 7 youngest French Open women’s singles champions: Iga Swiatek in 5th

Iga Swiatek
Aurelien Morissard / IP3; Iga SWIATEK (POL) poses with the trophy after winning her match against Sofia KENIN (USA) in the Philippe Chatrier court during the Final of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 10th October 2020.

Few have dominated an event quite like Iga Swiatek has dominated the French Open recently.

The Pole is the two-time defending champion at Roland Garros and has won three of the last four editions of the event – and is the hot favourite to triumph once again.

A fourth French Open title would see her make further history but she is already in the record books as one of the youngest women’s champions in the event’s history.

We look at the seven youngest women to win the French Open title.

Monica Seles: 1990 – 16 years, 6 months

A winner of three straight French Open titles, Seles was just 16 years old when she won her first Roland Garros crown in 1990 – making her one of the youngest major winners in history.

The second seed heading into the tournament, the future world No 1 battled past Manuela Maleeva in the last eight, before downing fellow teen ace Jennifer Capriati in the last four.

And, against huge rival Steffi Graf, Seles prevailed in straight sets to claim what was the first of nine major titles.

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Arantxa Sanchez Vicario: 1989 – 17 years, 5 months

A year before Seles won, Spanish star Sanchez Vicario had become the youngest champion when winning the first of her four Grand Slam titles.

The 17-year-old cruised through the draw, dropping a total of just eight games Jana Novotna and Mary Joe Fernandez in her quarter and semi-final victories to reach a first major final.

In a legendary final, the Spaniard came from 3-5 down in the decider against Graf to battle her way to victory and seal the first of three Roland Garros crowns.

Steffi Graf: 1987 – 17 years, 11 months

A true great of the sport, Graf was only 17 years old when she won the first of her 22 Grand Slam titles at the French Open in 1987.

The second seed in Paris, the German eased her way to the last four, where she battled past former doubles partner Gabriela Sabatini in three sets to reach her first major final.

Up against Martina Navratilova in the final, Graf prevailed 8-6 in the deciding set to claim the first of six titles in Paris.

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Hana Mandlikova: 1981 – 19 years, 3 months

Despite competing in one of the most competitive eras of women’s tennis, Czech star Mandlikova picked up an impressive four Grand Slam titles – including the 1981 French Open.

Already a Grand Slam winner at this point, fourth-seeded Mandlikova eased past Kathy Rinaldi in the last eight before shocking clay-court great Chris Evert in the last four.

And she backed that up with a dominant display in the final, dropping just six games against Sylvia Hanika to claim the second of her four majors.

Iga Swiatek: 2020 – 19 years, 4 months

Still only 22 years of age, Swiatek has put together a legendary career at an incredibly young age – and started with her maiden Roland Garros crown in 2020.

In the October edition of the event, the Pole stormed through to a first major final – and just a second career final – without dropping a set, famously thrashing former winner Simona Halep in the fourth round.

Swiatek then carried her pre-final form into the showpiece match, downing reigning Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin in straight sets for her first title.

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Chris Evert: 1974 – 19 years, 5 months

The greatest female clay courter in modern history, Evert won her first French Open title – and the first of her 18 majors – as a teenager in 1974.

Having been beaten in the final 12 months previously, the US ace was the top seed in Paris and did not drop a set in reaching the final, dispatching Julie Heldman and Helga Masthoff in the quarter and semi-finals.

The future world No 1 showed no signs of slowing down in the final, dropping just three games to Olga Morozova to kickstart her truly legendary career.

Iva Majoli: 1997 – 19 years, 10 months

One of the most surprising Slam final results of the past 30 years, Majoli was the only person to beat Martina Hingis at a Slam in 1997 by beating the Swiss in the French Open final in 1997.

Herself only a teenager at the time, Majoli reached her first major final by beating 11th seed Amanda Coezter in the last four.

The Croatian was a significant underdog against 16-year-old Hingis in the final, but she stormed to a 6-4, 6-2 win to claim the sole Slam title of her career.