Poland’s Iga Swiatek needed to secure a victory against American Jessica Pegula in the final match in Cancun to claim the coveted world number one spot, and she did so with an overwhelming performance of 6-1, 6-0.
The 22-year-old Swiatek displayed remarkable precision as Pegula struggled to find her rhythm, resulting in a match that concluded in just 59 minutes. This victory marked Swiatek’s first triumph at the prestigious WTA Finals tournament.
Swiatek’s achievement makes her the youngest champion in the history of the tournament since Petra Kvitova’s win in 2011 when she was 21 years old.
Despite a one-day delay due to adverse weather conditions, the final was played under sunny skies in Cancun, Mexico.
Swiatek made a swift start by breaking Pegula’s serve in the fourth game, securing a 3-1 lead and eventually claiming the first set in just 27 minutes.
Notably, this was the first set either player had lost throughout the entire event. In the second set, Pegula, the world number five, faced another break, losing her serve for the third time in the match’s opening game.
Iga Swiatek’s Gratitude and Ambitions for the Future
“I want to thank my team who have been with me for the whole season,” said Swiatek. “We’ve had many ups and downs but this is for sure an up, and we’ll have many more if we keep working like that.”
In the process of winning her sixth WTA title of the year, Swiatek overcame her opponent and broke for love to go up 3-0. With the win, Swiatek is guaranteed to finish the year as the world’s top player for a record-tying second season.
“2022 was so amazing that I don’t know if it’s going be possible for me to repeat a season like that,” Swiatek said.
“So I just didn’t feel at the end like I’m in the shadow anymore because I knew that I’m having another great season.”
She established herself as the top-ranked women’s player in 2022 with an incredible 37 wins in a row and six trophies, a position she would hold for 75 weeks until Sabalenka took her place in September of this year.
“I learned my lesson and this time I didn’t want [the number one ranking] to have an impact on me. It did a little bit, it’s hard not to think about stuff like that, but I knew that I had to focus on different things.”