Iga Swiatek produces a staggering performance to defeat Jessica Pegula in the final of the WTA tour Finals, reclaiming her spot as the year end number one in the process.
What an end to the year it has been for Iga Swiatek.
After victory at the Beijing Masters, Swiatek went into the WTA tour Finals in Cancun as the undeniable favourite.
Despite losing her ranking as world number one to Aryna Sabalenka after the US Open, it only seems to have invigorated Swiatek, who has played some of the best tennis of her career in the last month.
The WTA finals are supposed to represent the highest level of tennis on the women’s circuit, but Swiatek has made the rest of the competition look amateurish in comparison.
Not only did she win every match she played in the tournament, but she did so without losing a set.
After dismantling Vondrousova, Gauff and Jabeur in the group stages, the match up everyone had dreamed of was made in the semi-finals against Aryna Sabalenka.
However, the weather, which has proved such a problem in Cancun, caused a huge delay on the match, resulting in it happening nearly two days after it was originally scheduled.
Once it did finally got under way, it was hardly the close match that people envisaged it being. Swiatek barely faced any resistance as she crushed Sabalenka 6-3, 6-2.
Now all she needed to do was beat Jessica Pegula in the final and she would regain her spot as the world number one.
However, that would be easier said than done with Pegula dominating a number of top opponents on her way to the final, like Swiatek, without dropping a set.
Swiatek would have to play at her best. But nobody expected the level we saw.
Against Pegula, Swiatek produced the most one-sided scoreline in finals history, obliterating the American 6-1, 6-0 in under an hour.
The scariest thing about Swiatek’s final performance, is that she played Pegula less that 24 hours after her match against Sabalenka.
She produced seven unforced errors in the entire match, and took apart Pegula with ruthless efficiency to claim her first WTA tour finals title.
Over the last month Swiatek has produced one of the highest levels of women’s tennis ever seen. It seems that losing the number one spot after the US Open was one of the best things to happen to her.
She has been playing with an anger and an aggression which we haven’t seen from her in a while, and it should terrify the rest of the WTA.
It’s hard to believe that Swiatek is only 22. Already a four-time grand slam champion, if she continues this form into 2024, she will win several more.
Many conversations have been had as to whether Sabalenka or Swiatek would finish as the year end number one. But after the level shown by Swiatek in both Beijing and Cancun, there can be little doubt as to who is the best player in the world.