‘It’s Been Quite of a Ride’ – World Number 1 Iga Swiatek on Her Journey to the Top

Published 04/06/2022, 11:28 PM EDT
Mar 31, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Iga Swiatek (POL) celebrates after her match against Jessica Pegula (USA)(not pictured) in a women’s singles semifinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It is difficult to imagine that Iga Swiatek is just 20-years-old. Such has been the stature of the newly crowned World Number 1. Iga Swiatek first caught the eyeballs when she won the 2018 French Open girls’ doubles title. Subsequently, she won the Wimbledon title in girls’ singles in the same year as well.

Further, the Polish star made her Grand Slam main-draw debut in women’s singles at the 2019 Australian Open. In just her second appearance at a clay Major, Iga Swiatek won the 2020 French Open title. She defeated Sofia Kenin to win the biggest title of her career. The victory was made sweeter, as her idol, Rafael Nadal, too won the Roland Garros title that year.

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This week, Iga Swiatek toppled Ashleigh Barty to claim the Number 1 ranking in women’s singles. Barty, who announced her retirement last month, was removed from the WTA rankings chart.

Iga Swiatek on her rise to the top

Tecnifibre, the racket brand that Swiatek uses, tweeted a picture of her in her childhood days playing tennis viz-a-viz her picture playing tennis recently. The ‘Sunshine Double’ champion retweeted saying, “It’s been quite of a ride.”

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Indeed, it has been an amazing journey for her. Moreover, she is in the form of her life this season. Swiatek began her 2022 season at the Adelaide International 1 tournament. She reached the semifinals before losing to Ashleigh Barty in the last-four clash. Subsequently, she endured a similar fate at the Australian Open, losing in the semifinals against Danielle Collins of the USA.

Mar 30, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Iga Swiatek (POL) reaches for a forehand against Petra Kvitova (CZE)(not pictured) in a women’s singles quarterfinal match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After suffering a shock defeat against Jelena Ostapenko in the pre-quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships, Iga has been unbeaten in 17 matches. After a disappointing tournament in Dubai, the 20-year-old won the Qatar Open title, defeating Anett Kontaveit in the summit clash.

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Subsequently, she became just the fourth woman after Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters, and Victoria Azarenka to win the ‘Sunshine Double’. Iga Swiatek will be confident going into the clay-court season which is also her favorite surface. It will be interesting to see her journey in the coming years.

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Vatsal Shah

820 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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