There is simply no stopping Iga Swiatek right now.
The 20-year-old swept to her fourth successive title by beating Aryna Sabalenka in the final of the Stuttgart Open. Swiatek has not lost a match since mid-February and has stepped up to the plate in the most impressive fashion after taking over the world No. 1 spot from Ashleigh Barty following her retirement.
"I worked hard this week to adjust properly and to play my best tennis on this surface," said Swiatek after her latest victory.
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“The title means so much to me because the week has shown me that I can also win tournaments even if my preparation isn’t quite perfect or if I don’t have too much time to get used to a new surface. If I concentrate on my game, then everything’s possible.”
As she continues to roll through the women’s game, we take a look at some of the remarkable numbers behind Swiatek’s season so far...
23 wins in a row – Swiatek has not tasted defeat for over two months. The last player to beat her was Jelena Ostapenko in the last 16 of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on February 16. Swiatek has been unstoppable since, reeling off 23 consecutive victories over the Qatar Open, Indian Wells, the Miami Open, Billie Jean King Cup, and now the Stuttgart Open. Only four women have put together longer winning streaks this century:
  • Venus Williams – 35 (Wimbledon 2000 first round to Linz 2000 final) and 24 (Acura Tennis Classic 2001 second round to Australian Open 2002 quarter-finals)
  • Serena Williams – 34 (Miami Open 2013 second round to Wimbledon 2013 last 16), 27 (WTA Finals 2014 group stage to Madrid Open 2015 semi-finals) and 25 (Western & Southern Open 2013 final to Australian Open 2014 last 16)
  • Justine Henin – 32 (Wimbledon 2007 semi-finals to Australian Open 2008 quarter-finals) and 24 (Family Circle Cup 2005 first round to Wimbledon 2005 first round)
  • Victoria Azarenka - 26 (Sydney International 2012 first round to Miami Open 2012 quarter-finals)
Swiatek is next set to play the Madrid Open, the first of two WTA 1000 tournaments on clay, which starts on April 28. Last year she was beaten in the last 16 in Madrid by Ashleigh Barty.
28 sets in a row – Swiatek’s utter dominance over the last two months has been amplified by the fact she won 14 consecutive matches in straight sets before being pushed to three by Liudmila Samsonova in the Stuttgart Open semi-finals. Swiatek is the first player on the WTA Tour to win 28 sets in a row since Serena Williams did so between the 2012 US Open and the 2013 Australian Open. Swiatek’s 14 consecutive straight-set wins included five over top-10 players.
Winning in straight sets has been a theme of Swiatek’s career. She made her breakthrough at the 2020 French Open without dropping a set and last year 31 of her 36 wins were in straight sets. Even at junior level she was ruthless; on her way to winning the Wimbledon girls’ title in 2018 she only lost one set to top seed Whitney Osuigwe, and on the ITF tour 36 of her 43 wins were in straight sets.
Seven finals, seven straight-sets wins – After losing to Polona Hercog in her first WTA final in Lugano in April 2019, Swiatek has been perfect in finals, going 7-0 and not dropping a set. Nobody has even managed to win more than four games in a set against Swiatek in her last seven finals, with her most memorable result the 6-0 6-0 destruction of Karolina Pliskova at the Italian Open last year. Swiatek's last seven finals are:
  • 2020 French Open, beat Sofia Kenin 6-4 6-1
  • 2021 Adelaide International, beat Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-2
  • 2021 Italian Open, beat Karolina Pliskova 6-0 6-0
  • 2022 Qatar Open, beat Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-0
  • 2022 Indian Wells, beat Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-1
  • 2022 Miami Open, beat Naomi Osaka 6-4 6-0
  • 2022 Stuttgart Open, beat Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-2
30 winsthis season – Swiatek won 36 matches in 2021; at the rapid rate she is going she will likely surpass that total by the end of May. New world No. 2 Paula Badosa has the next highest win total for the year with 20, then it’s Veronika Kudermetova and Maria Sakkari with 16 each. Swiatek has only lost three times this year, to Jelena Ostapenko in Dubai, Danielle Collins at the Australian Open and Ashleigh Barty at the Adelaide International. With more than half of the season still to play, Swiatek has the chance to stack up plenty more wins.
Four titles this season – Ashleigh Barty was the WTA Tour leader with five singles titles last season, but Swiatek is well on track to beat that total after clinching her fourth of 2022 in Stuttgart. Swiatek had only won three tournaments before the start of the year – one of which was the 2020 French Open – and is now up to seven for her career. She will be looking to adding more silverware over the next six weeks with WTA 1000 events coming up in Madrid and Rome before the French Open. The last player to win more than five WTA titles in a season was Serena Williams with seven in 2014. The previous year Williams won 11 – the most on the WTA Tour this century – while Justine Henin won 10 in 2007.
Six comeback wins – Swiatek has the most three-set wins this season (8) and the most comeback wins (6). She won three in a row at Indian Wells after dropping the first set and also rallied to beat Samsonova in Stuttgart. This is an area where Swiatek has improved significantly. Last year she only won three of the 14 matches where she dropped the opening set and her career record in three-set matches ahead of this season was 12-10.
Third youngest to hit 20-plus wins – At the age of 20, Swiatek is the third-youngest player to record 20-plus consecutive wins this century. Only Venus Williams (35 wins in 2000) and Serena Williams (21 wins in 2002) have achieved the feat at younger ages.
Two of the longest matches thisseason – Alongside the numerous straight-set victories, Swiatek has been involved in a couple of marathon matches. Her 6-7(4) 6-4 7-5 win over Samsonova in Stuttgart lasted for three hours and three minutes, making it the 11th-longest match of 2022. She was also involved in the 14th-longest match of the year when she beat Kaia Kanepi 4-6 7-6(2) 6-3 in three hours and one minute at the Australian Open. The longest match of the year was Daria Saville’s win over Emma Raducanu in Guadalajara which lasted three hours and 36 minutes and finished when the US Open champion retired at 4-3 down in the third set with a hip injury.
2,000 points clear as world No. 1 - With her victory in Stuttgart, Swiatek is now just over 2,000 points clear of world No. 2 Paula Badosa at the top of the WTA rankings. Swiatek has ranking points to defend on clay as she won the Italian Open last year, but she can also gain points in Madrid, where she lost in the last 16, and the French Open, where she went out in the quarter-finals. If she continues her current form she could be well clear of the chasing pack by the time the grass season comes around.
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