Iga Swiatek ‘an exceptional human’ says Ash Barty who is proud to see the Pole at WTA world number one
Ash Barty has heaped praise on world number one Iga Swiatek for how she has gone about replacing the Australian at the pinnacle of the WTA rankings.
When Barty retired in March and dropped off the rankings thereafter, the Pole became world number one by default.
Despite the unusual way she took the top spot, 21-year-old Swiatek has since taken the WTA tour by storm to win 37 matches in a row across six consecutive titles, including a second career triumph at the French Open in June.
“Iga [Swiatek] is an incredible talent, an exceptional human and a lovely girl,” Barty told The Guardian. “I love her and her team, and I couldn’t be more proud that she took over the number one position, because she plays the sport in the right way and has so much energy and charisma.”
Swiatek’s century-best WTA win streak was eventually broken by 32-year-old Alizé Cornet, then ranked 37th, in the third round of Wimbledon.
Results like that only make Barty feel that the depth of the women’s game is notable in 2022.
“The depth in women’s tennis at the moment is great too,” she explained. “We’ve come from having one or two players dominating to there being more unpredictability. And that’s not because the tour is weak.
“In fact, it’s because the tour is so strong. Everyone in that top 40 to 50 bracket is so exceptionally good that week to week they could all be top 10 players.”
In particular, Wimbledon 2022 brought that depth to light.
Four of the eight women’s quarter-finalists were unseeded, and eventual champion Elena Rybakina was ranked 23rd in the world entering the tournament.
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