Iga Swiatek regains World No.1 status with dominant WTA Finals victory
Iga Swiatek has achieved a record-breaking maiden WTA Finals triumph to dethrone Aryna Sabalenka as world No.1, and she thanked fans after an ‘uneasy’ week in Cancun.
Swiatek beat Jessica Pegula, 6-1 6-0, in a final that lasted less than an hour and extended her winning streak to 11 matches.
This was officially the most one-sided final at the WTA Finals in terms of fewest games conceded, with Swiatek breaking the record of two games previously set by Martina Navratilova (1983) and Kim Clijsters (2003).
The Pole did not drop a set throughout the week, beating Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova, US Open winner Coco Gauff, Australian Open champion Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur and the aforementioned Pegula.
In-fact, Swiatek was so dominant that she lost only 20 games all week, with Serena Williams the closest to rival this with 30 games dropped back in 2012.
20 – Since the reintroduction of the RR format in 2003, Iga Swiatek (20 games) is the first player to concede fewer than 25 games en route to winning the WTA Finals, breaking Serena Williams’ record of 32 sets in 2012. Benchmark.#WTAFinals | @WTAFinals @WTA @WTA_insider pic.twitter.com/UkOeQHBssY
— OptaAce (@OptaAce) November 6, 2023
Although it could appear an easy week for the 22-year-old, there have been many obstacles to overcome due to poor weather and the last-minute construction of the courts.
This actually caused both the singles and doubles finals, that was won by Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva, to be postponed until Monday.
In her post-match speech, Swiatek thanked the crowd after a challenging week in Mexico, “Thank you for all these Polish flags and all these Polish people coming to every tournament, but also from many countries. Every year I feel I have more and more support and it really keeps me pushing for more, so thank you guys.”
Swiatek continued, “Even though this week wasn’t easy, you made it special for us. Jess, I want to congratulate you for the whole season. Playing against you has never been easy. Hopefully we will both progress and play many more finals together.”
She also reflected on her 2023 season as a whole, “The team that’s been with me the whole season. We had many ups and downs. This is for sure an up. We will for sure have many more if we keep working like that.”
The WTA Finals are the 17th title of Swiatek’s career, as the Pole regains her status at the top of the rankings after an eight-week hiatus and confirms that she will be the year-end No.1 for a second consecutive year.
Inside the baseline…
Since losing in the fourth round of the US Open and dropping the No.1 ranking to Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek has been on fire, winning 12 of her last 13 matches. Jessica Pegula had also not dropped a set heading into the final and was looking very impressive, but she was no match for Swiatek, who showed just why she deserves to be back at the top of the WTA rankings.
Iga Swiatek: Titles in 2023
With Swiatek winning her first WTA Finals title to finish the 2023 season, it confirms that she has officially won at least one singles title at every level this year:
Total WTA titles in 2023: 6
Grand Slam: 1 (Roland Garros)
WTA Finals: 1 (Cancun)
WTA 1000: 1 (Beijing)
WTA 500: 2 (Doha and Stuttgart)
WTA 250: 1 (Warsaw)
— Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek) June 10, 2023
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