After Ash Barty’s shock retirement this week, the Australian requested to be removed from the WTA rankings. As a result, a frantic race to the #1 spot was on. Iga Swiatek was the standout favourite, needing just one win to place her at the top of the women’s game. With an emphatic 6-2 6-0 win over Viktorija Golubic, she’s done just that.
Iga Swiatek: New World Number 1
While Barty’s retirement is a huge loss for tennis, not many could argue that Swiatek is deserving of her #1 ranking. The young Pole has been in sensational form for most of the year, making the Australian Open semifinals before winning both Qatar and Indian Wells consecutively. Swiatek is now on a 12 match winning streak, and boasts a tour-leading 21-3 record in 2022. What’s even more remarkable is that she’s still just 20 years old, and will turn 21 half way through the tournament.
She took the tennis world by storm when she won the 2020 French Open at just 19 years of age, and has been impressing ever since. Her hard court game has improved immeasurably, exemplified by her back-to-back WTA 1000 titles this year.
She’s looked head and shoulders above the competition in the last month, and her form has been well and truly rewarded. Her fascinating and aggressive style is not only a joy to watch, but it’s getting her huge results on a consistent basis.
— wta (@WTA) March 26, 2022
If she can dominate her opponents on clay and hard courts, then we could well be in for a dominant run as #1. She’s got the game to beat anyone with her powerful groundstrokes, while being a great problem solver on court. Given how fast she’s improving, she may well become an exceptional grass court player in no time.
While Swiatek has been picked for a big future, this incredible leap has come far sooner than many expected. How will she cope as the leading player of the WTA? Only time will tell, but given what we’re already seeing from her, it looks like we’re in for a thrilling ride.
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