Saturday, June 4, 2022

Le numéro 1 mondial, le numéro 1 à Paris!

When Iga Swiatek won the French Open in 2020, there were people (some of whom should have known better) who said that she "came out of nowhere." While she certainly wasn't favored to win the title, she was far from being an "out of nowhere" competitor.

In 2021, Swiatek lost to Maria Sakkari in the quarterfinals, but her year was quite notable--she reached at least the fourth round of every major, and won two titles, including Rome, a 1000 level event. And in 2022, the Polish star went on a tear not often seen on the tour. So far, she has won six straight titles--including the rare Sunshine Double--and has now won 35 straight matches.

The 35th match occurred today, when Swiatek defeated Coco Gauff in straight sets in the final of the 2022 French Open. Gauff, a clear talent with a bright future, was clearly anxious playing in her first major final, and wasn't able to do much to stop the force that is Swiatek. 

Prior to losing the final, Gauff had not dropped a set at Roland Garros (even Swiatek gave up a tiebreak set against Zheng Qinwen in the fourth round).  However, Swiatek's 6-1, 6-3 victory today underscores her current dominance in women's tennis. 

And that brings me to another subject: For a while now--since Serena Williams began her fade from the tour--many tennis fans have complained that there is no dominant player on the tour. (This never bothered me--I don't need a dominant player.) But now fans are complaining that Swiatek is too dominant and they are bored with it all. 

For those of you who are bored, better find some outside interests--Iga Swiatek, your world number 1 and 2022 French Open champion, isn't going anywhere. It will be interesting, by the way, to watch her at Wimbledon; Swiatek has not played many matches on grass. Her only Wimbledon appearance occurred last year, and she lost to Ons Jabeur in the round of 16.

One final note: Both Billie Jean King and 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic were in the stands today, yet the trophies were awarded by Mats Wilander, and I'm tempted to say, "Well, this is the French Open," but I also find myself saying that about the Australian Open, and--of course--the backward oddity known as Wimbledon.


Smiles Tennis said...

How many wins do you think she can reach?

Diane said...

Good question. Tennis is fickle, and things happen (who knew that Petra would probably walk away with just two?). But right now--if she stays healthy--I see her in the double-digit category.

Smiles Tennis said...

I think yesterday will release a lot of pressure off of her shoulders, going for the second Slam and also the winning streak. Now it's done, she can play freely. She's a real talent for sure.

Diane said...