Cancun, Mexico, Nov 7 (EFE).- Poland’s Iga Swiatek needed only one hour to beat American Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-0 to win the WTA Finals and return to number one in the world tennis rankings on Monday.
Polish tennis player Iga Natalia Swiatek celebrates her victory against American Jessica Pegula during the final of the WTA Finals Cancun women’s tennis tournament at the Paradisius hotel in Cancun, Mexico, 06 November 2023. EFE-EPA/Alonso Cupul
Swiatek, 22, gave her best game at the crucial moment, winning 82 percent points on the first serve.
She broke in the third game of the first set and from there put together 10 consecutive games to sweep Pegula, fifth in the world rankings.
Polish tennis player Iga Natalia Swiatek (L) celebrates with the trophy after winning the final of the WTA Finals Cancun women’s tennis tournament against American Jessica Pegula (R), at the Paradisius hotel in Cancun, Mexico, 06 November 2023. EFE-EPA/Alonso Cupul
The North American was erratic with her first serve, suffered from Swiatek’s precise returns, and committed 21 unforced errors, which left her unable to respond against a rival full of energy, motivated to recover the number one spot that she had lost to Belarusian Aryna Sabalenja on Sep. 11.
Pegula had won her group with authority, and in the semifinals, she defeated her compatriot Coco Gauff by a clear margin.
However, in the final, she was far from her best, which made her lose her undefeated record in Mexico, where she won nine consecutive matches on her way to the Master 1,000 title in Guadalajara last year and this week.
Swiatek outperformed her rival in everything, hitting nine winners to her rival’s six and staying focused in the few moments in which the American tried to bounce back.
Swiatek showed her form by defeating Sabalenka 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinal on Sunday, which allowed her to have a go at reclaiming her status as the best tennis player in the world.
“Congratulations Jessica, on your great season; playing against you is always difficult,” said an emotional Swiatek, who thanked her supporters with Polish flags in the stands.
Swiatek’s title was the 17th of her career, which includes four Grand Slams – three at Roland Garros (2020, 2022 and 2023) and one at the US Open (2022).
This Monday, the Pole began her new spell at the top of the rankings, after being number one from Apr. 4, 2022, to Sep. 11, 2023. EFE