Iga Swiatek - Roland Garros 2023

Iga Swiatek feeling ‘proud’ after winning ‘tense’ China Open final

Iga Swiatek has added another WTA title to her trophy cabinet in Beijing, with the Pole closing the gap on world No.1 Aryna Sabalenka.

Swiatek beat Liudmila Samsonova, 6-2 6-2, in just over an hour and managed to go through the entire match without hitting a single unforced error.

It is the first WTA 1000 title of the year for the Pole, who moves ahead as the tour leader in terms of total titles won in 2023.

Despite it taking until the final WTA 1000 event of the year for Swiatek to become champion at this level in 2023, she is actually the first player to win six titles of this calibre before the age of 23, surpassing Caroline Wozniacki’s five.

And the 22-year-old reflected on her maiden title in China after the match, “I’m happy that I won because, for sure, this is really big for me. Winning this title is something that I never would have thought at the beginning of the tournament about. I’m pretty proud of myself.”

Swiatek added, “Well, for sure you could feel that we are playing a final because it was a little bit tense, I would say. But I’m happy that I kind of adjusted to what Liudmila was playing. I wanted to really be consistent with what I wanted to do no matter how she’s doing.”

The former No.1 went onto describe winning the China Open title as a ‘lesson’ for the rest of her life, “This tournament will give me confidence for the rest of my career. It teaches me that there are always possibilities to surpass yourself. Sometimes it is quite simple, but we complicate things.

“I am very happy that I stayed focused on the hard work. It has paid off in the end. I am happy that after the US Open I have gone back to the fundamentals and hard work on my tennis. I will continue doing it. Winning this trophy teaches me a lesson for the rest of my life.”

With this victory, Swiatek has closed the gap on world No.1 Sabalenka to just 465 points, with the race to be at the top of the rankings at the end of the year coming down to the WTA Finals in Cancun later this month.

Inside the baseline…

Although Swiatek has not quite been as dominant as she was in 2022, it has still been an incredibly impressive season for the four-time Grand Slam champion. This tournament in the Chinese capital was just what she needed, having ended US Open champion Coco Gauff’s 16-match winning streak and losing only one set all week to add a 16th WTA title to her trophy cabinet.

READ NEXT – WTA Finals 2023 Lineup Confirmed: Who has qualified for the year-end tournament?

Iga Swiatek: 16-time WTA title winner

The China Open marks the 16th time that Swiatek has lifted a WTA title in her young career, with four Grand Slam titles, six WTA 1000 crowns, five WTA 500 victories and one WTA 250 title at her home event in Warsaw.

Here is the timeline of her success so far:

  1. Roland Garros (2020) 
  2. Adelaide (2021) 
  3. Rome (2021)
  4. Doha (2022)
  5. Indian Wells (2022)
  6. Miami (2022)
  7. Stuttgart (2022)
  8. Rome (2022)
  9. Roland Garros (2022)
  10. US Open (2022)
  11. San Diego (2022)
  12. Doha (2023)
  13. Stuttgart (2023)
  14. Roland Garros (2023)
  15. Warsaw (2023)
  16. Beijing (2023)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.