Iga Swiatek has come a long way since she made a name for herself at the tender age of 19 by winning the French Open 2020. With the poise of a veteran and the shots of a champion, 19-year-old Swiatek inscribed her name in tennis fans’ hearts. Since then, The Pole is enjoying a great season of 2022 where she conquered the Qatar Open and Indian Wells 2022.
Her fairytale run seemed to have no end as she defeated Naomi Osaka 6-4 6-0 in the Miami Open final on Saturday, becoming only the fourth woman in WTA history to capture the ‘Sunshine double’ in the same season and the first woman to win the year’s first three WTA 1000 titles. The Pole is on her way to becoming the No. 1 singles player in the world with a splash!
Iga Swiatek started troubling Naomi Osaka right on, as the Japanese continued to hold serve in the first game despite seven deuces and two saved breakpoints. Osaka’s defiance didn’t last long, as Swiatek went up a break, 4-2, and calmly held on to that lead to take the first set. The second set was unremarkable, as Swiatek beat the Four-time Grand Slam champion, who was only the second unseeded woman to reach the Miami final.
“This sport is better with you”- Iga Swiatek
“This tournament has so much energy,” Swiatek remarked in her on-court interview.
She was born in Poland, which has recently welcomed more than 2 million refugees from war-torn Ukraine. Swiatek took a moment during her trophy ceremony to express her concern for the refugees. “As I was doing in my previous speeches at Doha and Indian Wells, I want to say to Ukraine to stay strong. Everything’s going to get better.”
After the match, Swiatek had some soothing words for her adversary Naomi Osaka. “I am honoured to have played this match, I hope it will only be the beginning of a new great rivalry. Keep it up and don’t give up, this sport is better with you.” the soon-to-be women’s No. 1 told the previous women’s No. 1. The Pole took home $1,231,245 for her victory, despite never facing a single breakpoint whilst making the finals earned Osaka $646,110.
Iga Swiatek now holds a career-best 17-match winning streak
Swiatek, who is 20 years old, is currently on a career-high 17-match winning streak. She has now joined Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki as the only players to win three or more successive WTA 1000 championships in a single season, having also won in Doha in February and Indian Wells in March. Wozniacki holds the record for the longest winning run in the WTA 1000, with five victories between the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011.
On Monday, the prestigious WTA Tour will have a new No. 1 when Iga Swiatek makes her debut at the top (the first Polish tennis player to achieve the feat). Nevertheless, with her ranking in the Top 100 in jeopardy coming into the Miami Open, former world No. 1 Osaka is expected to jump from No. 77 to No. 36 by getting to the final.