Iga Swiatek wore a big smile on her face as she returned to her bench. She opened her kit bag and fetched a white jumper, as she has done many times during the course of the French Open. But there was something different about this particular white selection. On the left was printed the word ‘1GA,’ which is a play on World No 1 Iga, and right under two gold stars – one for each Grand Slam title the 21-year-old has won. One for each title at Roland Garros.

A few minutes later, she walked up onto the makeshift podium at Court Philippe-Chatrier with that clean white sweatshirt on, to lift the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen for the second time in her career after defeating 18-year-old Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3 in a women’s singles final that lasted 68 minutes.

French Open: Reactions to Iga Swiatek’s 2nd Grand Slam title – ‘What a number one we have’

That second golden star on the shirt is a marker for a sentiment that’s been prevalent around Swiatek for many months now – that the 21-year-old could well be the one to dominate the women’s tour in the months ahead.

In these past few years of women’s tennis, there has not been anybody who has consistently stepped up to stake a claim at the No 1 spot for the long term. Since Serena Williams went on maternity break in 2017, Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty did briefly take up the World No 1 spot and looked likely to occupy that rank and claim the treasures of the tour for years to come. While Osaka’s yet to regain the form that saw her get to four Major wins, Barty decided to unexpectedly retire from the sport at a peak.

And once the Australian – the only other active female player apart from Williams to have won Grand Slams on three different surfaces – hung up her racquet, the vacant World No 1 spot went to then second placed Swiatek.

French Open: Reactions to Iga Swiatek’s 2nd Grand Slam title – ‘What a number one we have’

The Pole did have some reservations about taking up that spot when she got to the top on April 4.

“I never really imagined that moment because, truth be told, I was working day-by-day and playing tennis well, but I never had the strong belief that it can actually happen,” Swiatek had said then. “So it’s even more surreal for me.”

But Swiatek was easily the best – the only – choice for the No 1 spot. She had the results to back them up after all.

She had won WTA 1000 events in Doha and Indian Wells before Barty announced her retirement. She then won the Miami Masters a day before she ascended the ranking leaderboard. And then added the WTA 500 Stuttgart Open title to her trophy cabinet, before claiming the title in Rome. And then she conquered the clay in Paris.

She’s done all this by putting up an incredible run of 35 straight wins. She’s now level with Venus Williams’ record for most consecutive wins in the 21st century by a female tennis player. Going back to 1990, she trails only Monica Seles’ 36 wins in 1990 and Martina Hingis’ 37 in 1997. Her six titles on the trot made her the first player since Justine Henin in 2006-07 to win that many events in a row. And now winning her second French Open title made her the fourth youngest multiple Roland Garros champion in the Open Era after Seles, Steffi Graf and Chris Evert.

And if it wasn’t clear about the prestige of the company she is in now, she’s the youngest player to win two Grand Slam titles since 19-year-old Maria Sharapova won the US Open crown in 2006.

The dominance that she showed on Saturday simply fulfilled what was expected of her over the past fortnight. She was the No 1 seed, and remained the only top 10 seed still alive in the draw by the end of the third round. And in the final, her attacking intent showed through the angled groundstrokes.

That’s been a common trend every time Swiatek steps on court – not giving her opponents much to work with. In fact, in these 35 wins, she’s dropped just six sets. With her win against Gauff on Satruday, she also went past Serena Williams’ best tally of 34 consecutive wins, something she felt was special.

“I think honestly, it may seem pretty weird, but having that 35th win and kind of doing something more than Serena did, it’s something special,” she said after the final.

“Because I always wanted to... have some kind of a record. In tennis it’s pretty hard after Serena’s career [23 Major singles titles]. So that really hit me, you know. Obviously winning a Grand Slam too [is special], but this one was pretty special because I felt like I’ve done something that nobody has ever done, and maybe it’s gonna be even more.”

Her coach Thomaz Wiktorowski is certain that there indeed will be more.

“This is just the beginning of the journey, we have much more to do and every single tournament just brings us new information. We will try to develop other tools. To be honest, we do not count the victories. We live day by day,” he said, as quoted by AFP.

But, make no mistake, her victories are being counted. And with each forehand thump down the line, or backhand crosscourt winner, it’s clear Swiatek is bringing an end to the rollercoaster women’s draw, where out-of-the-blue Slam winners have been a trend these past few years.

It’s expected that Swiatek will bring balance to the field. Maybe it’s written in the stars? Just like the one on her white jumper.