Even before Iga Swiatek gave the silver trophy a tender kiss and then rewarded herself with a piece of tiramisu, she grabbed her mobile phone in the moment of triumph.
Immediately after her third Grand Slam victory, the final dominator answered the first congratulatory messages from Arthur Ashe Stadium with a blissful smile. Most of them are likely to have come from their home country Poland - there the new US Open winner triggers a little tennis euphoria.
"Poland is upside down," said Angelique Kerber, who was absent due to her pregnancy, even before the final at Eurosport. The 2016 US Open winner, who has both German and Polish citizenship, reported: "The Poles are Iga Swiatek fans who go crazy. She's one of the best-known athletes there."
"Queen of Tennis Courts"
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called Swiatek the "queen of the tennis courts" and posted a Polish flag and a smiling smiley face on Facebook as a "huge congratulations". Head of State Andrzej Duda spoke on Twitter of another historic triumph "for our great tennis player".
The impressive performance of the just 21-year-olds in the final against long-lost Ons Jabeur from Tunisia will add to the hype. "I have to come home and check it out," said Swiatek after the 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win. "I am proud that tennis at home is becoming more and more popular." Her opponent in the final, Jabeur, achieved a similar effect in the Arab and African world, Swiatek explained: "We try to be good role models."
No walk to the title
It wasn't a walk to the title at the US Open. In the round of 16 Swiatek was disenchanted by Dortmund's Jule Niemeier in the first set, in the semi-finals against Belarus's Aryna Sabalenka the score was 2: 4 in the third set. But the Pole, who solves crossword or Sudoku puzzles before matches to improve concentration, pulled herself out of all the lows. "The tournament was a challenge. We're in New York, it's so loud, so crazy," she said: "I'm so proud that I was able to process it mentally."
The sports newspaper "Przeglad Sportowy" stated that, unlike at the French Open, Swiatek did not win in "robot mode", but showed two faces in the final. But Jabeur could also have turned on his head - it would still have been too little against Swiatek. The "Gazeta Wyborcza" summarized why: "If she is in the final, she will be in the form of her life."
In addition to their outstanding return, it is their mental toughness that sets Swiatek apart from the rest of the competition. "In the really important moments, she's there from the head," said national coach Barbara Rittner: "That's the champion gene." Kerber, who wants to return to the tour after the birth of her child and want to compete with Swiatek, is also enthusiastic: "She's still so young and mentally so strong. The younger generation can learn a lot from her."
Also how to show greatness in the hour of triumph. "We have a very nice rivalry," Swiatek said to Jabeur, "I'm sure you'll beat me more often."
The 28-year-old smiled, but the words of the winner could not really console her. The new world number two lost her second grand final two months after Wimbledon and failed to become the first African and Arabian Grand Slam tournament winner in the professional era. At the press conference, Jabeur jokingly said: "I'll forgive Iga if she gives me a Rolex watch."