Iga Swiatek triumphs at BNP Paribas Open; rises to No.2 in the world
Indian Well : Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek won her 11th straight match on way to defeating Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-1 to lift the 2022 BNP Paribas Open trophy at Indian Wells on Monday (IST).The victory in the WTA 1000 event has given the 20-year-old player a jump of two places, to World No.2, in the latest rankings released on Monday.Swiatek’s dominance at the WTA 1000 events this season continued unabated here, as the No.3 seed became the first Polish woman to claim the title at Indian Wells, surpassing the result by 2014 BNP Paribas Open runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska. Swiatek will also tie former world No.2 Radwanska as the highest-ranked Polish player in history.With the win, which came in just 80 minutes, Swiatek also became the first woman to reach 20 match-wins this season. Swiatek’s victory also marks her career-best 11th straight match-win on the WTA Tour, with that streak coming at the first two WTA 1000 events of the season.Swiatek claimed the title last month at the WTA 1000 Qatar Open in Doha. By backing that crown up at her next event in Indian Wells, she improves to an undefeated 11-0 at WTA 1000-level so far this year.
In her last five finals, all of which she won, Swiatek has dropped only a combined 16 games. The scoreline against Sakkari is exactly the same as it was in her 2020 Roland Garros final, where she won her maiden career title.”At the beginning of the tournament, I wouldn’t even think about winning, honestly,” Swiatek was quoted as saying by wtatennis.com. “Of course you have to believe in yourself, but I’m a realistic person.”Winning after playing so well in Doha is giving me a lot of confidence and kind of belief that I can do it…I wouldn’t think of myself as someone who’s ready to play two tournaments in a row and win it. For sure hard work is paying off.”(Sakkari and I are) stepping a similar path, looking at rankings and looking at what we’ve been playing for the last couple of years. Paula Badosa, Anett (Kontaveit) and Ons Jabeur, I don’t want to forget anybody, but I think we kind of started playing Top 10 tennis at the same time.
“(The World No.2 ranking is) pretty surreal for now. I have to look at it and I have to check the rankings by myself and just see it. Right now it’s too surreal to describe it, honestly….But for sure I want to go higher because I feel like getting No. 1 is closer and closer.”Sakkari too improved to a new career-high ranking on Monday, rising to world No.3. She will match current ATP pro Stefanos tsitsipas’s career-high ranking of No.3, tying him for the highest-ranked Greek player in history, female or male.”I can’t believe there’s only two girls above me right now,” Sakkari said after the final. “Whoever followed my steps the last couple of years, they know what that means to me.”I’m very proud that myself and Stefanos have actually grown tennis in Greece. Having two players in that ranking position is something huge for us. I’m going to say it again, but I’m very proud of myself this week.”