Home WTA Iga Swiatek is back at number one

Iga Swiatek is back at number one

by Jonas Eriksson

She needed to win the WTA Finals and she did. Iga Swiatek is back at number one on the WTA Tour. How will she perform in 2024?

Iga Swiatek is back at number one

When she gets on a roll, she gets on a roll! For the second consecutive year, Iga finished as WTA World number one after winning 11 matches to win the WTA 1000 in Beijing and the WTA Finals in Cancun.

Pundits talk about Iga’s bakery because she often deals out breadsticks (6-1) and bagels (6-0). The final was no different, where Iga put on a clinical performance against Jessica Pegula in the final of the WTA Finals to lift her first-ever season-ending trophy.

The Pole dominated the match from the off-go, hitting her trademark heavy topspin forehand and pushing Pegula back behind the baseline.

Swiatek’s relentless ball-striking overwhelmed the American, who had no answer to the French Open champion’s game after a spectacular run to reach the final.

At least Pegula would have hoped to reach the hour mark, losing the match 6-1 6-0 in just 59 minutes.

The dominant scoreline shows just how good Swiatek is when playing her best, especially against a top five player like Pegula.

Coming into the finals, Pegula looked tremendously good. The American produced some of her best tennis to brush aside Elena Rybakina, Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari and Coco Gauff, all in straight sets on her way to her first WTA Finals final.

Nerves could have played a part in Pegula’s lackluster performance, given it was the biggest singles final she’d ever played in.

However, on the day, she was no match for Swiatek. The Pole is very much a rhythm player, and when she is taking the ball early and hitting her spots to perfection, I haven’t seen many people who have been able to stop her in her tracks.

Swiatek’s win means she takes back the number 1 player in the world, knocking Sabalenka off the top spot.

If Iga can continue to perform at this level consistently, she’s definitely on track to win multiple major titles in 2024.

Pegula might look at her final performance with disappointment, but this shouldn’t take away from the rest of her tournament. Four top-ten wins against three major champions is no easy feat, and she should use these wins as motivation on her quest to win a major title.

WTA Doubles Finals

This year’s WTA Doubles Finals was won by Vera Zvonerava and Laura Siegemund. The team have had a stellar run at the back end of this season, having won four titles

from five finals in the last 3 months.

Zvonareva, now age 39, was making her first WTA doubles final tournament since 2005.

In the group stage, Zvonerava and Siegemund battled through top seeds Gauff and Pegula and multiple major champions Krejcikova and Siniakova.

In the semi-final, the team continued their impressive form, fighting past the undefeated Mertens and Hunter to reach the trophy match.

Nicole Melichar and Ellen Perez were their opponents in the final, who they brushed aside in straight sets, winning 6-4 6-4 to lift their biggest title of the year.

With the win, Zvonareva and Siegemund reached a career-high of number 9 and number 5, respectively in the WTA doubles rankings.

Top 10 WTA

Swiatek’s end-of-season move to No.1 pushes Aryna Sabalenka to No.2 in the final rankings. Swiatek and Sabalenka are the only two players to hold the WTA World No.1 this season; Sabalenka held the No.1 ranking for eight weeks.

This makes the WTA rankings look like this:

  1. Iga Swiatek
  2. Aryna Sabalenka
  3. Coco Gauff
  4. Elena Rybakina
  5. Jessica Pegula
  6. Ons Jabeur
  7. Marketa Vondrousova
  8. Karolina Muchova
  9. Maria Sakkari
  10. Barbora Krejcikova

•    Youngest: Coco Gauff, 19
•    Oldest: Jessica Pegula, 29
•    The Top 10 combined to win 23 singles titles in 2023 and have combined to win 62 titles across their respective careers

What to expect for 2024?

The season is over, so now we look ahead to 2024. Will Iga and Aryna keep up their battle for the top spot? Can Coco Gauff win one more GS title or two? Is it finally time for Ons Jabeur to win Wimbledon after two final losses?

Are there other players outside the top 10 to worry about? I am sure we will see a year with plenty of upsets and some surprises climbing up the ranks.

Sixteen players broke through to the top 100 for the first time in 2023.

In chronological order, they were: Rebeka Masarova (Jan. 9), Cristina Bucsa (Jan. 16), Diana Shnaider and Katie Volynets (Jan. 30), Peyton Stearns (Apr. 10), Emma Navarro (May 8), Caroline Dolehide (May 22), Elina Avanesyan (Jun. 12), Elizabeth Mandlik (Jun. 19), Mirra Andreeva and Jodie Burrage (Jul. 17), Kayla Day (Jul. 24), Ashlyn Krueger and Kimberly Birrell (Sep. 18) and Emina Bektas (Nov. 6).

We have previously written about Mirra Andreeva, but surely we will see other names in the list above do big things on the WTA Tour.

There are some great stats in the post on the official WTA Tour website.

What are your predictions for 2024?

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