Swiatek bests Osaka, completes Sunshine Double with Miami title

Swiatek bests Osaka, completes Sunshine Double with Miami title

Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak on the Hologic WTA Tour hard courts with a 6-4, 6-0 victory against Naomi Osaka in the Miami Open final. It was Swiatek’s 17th straight win and her third consecutive title.

On Monday, Swiatek will officially ascend to the World No.1 for the first time in her career. She moves to that position following her command 1-hour and 17-minute victory.

“I just feel really satisfied and fulfilled and also proud of myself,” Swiatek said in her post-match press conference. “I feel like I have got to celebrate, because I don’t know how long I can keep up with this streak.”

Read more: Here’s hoping for more Swiatek, Osaka showdowns

Sunshine Double complete: Swiatek also joins an exclusive club by becoming only the fourth woman to win the Sunshine Double — titles at WTA 1000 Indian Wells and Miami in the same season.

Stefanie Graf (1994 and 1996), Kim Clijsters (2005) and Victoria Azarenka (2016), all former No.1 players, are the others. Swiatek, 20, is the youngest woman to pull off this accomplishment.

“I feel pretty privileged that I can be amongst those players, because I wouldn’t even dream of it a few years ago,” Swiatek said. “I knew it’s going to be tough playing these two tournaments in a row. I realized at the end it’s just another match and I took it step by step.”

Miami Final Highlights: Swiatek defeats Osaka to win 17th straight match

2022 Miami

Owning the WTA 1000s: Swiatek’s career-best winning streak continues, with all of her past 17 wins coming at the first three WTA 1000 events of the season.

Swiatek swept the titles at WTA 1000 Doha, Indian Wells and now Miami, joining Serena Williams (2013 – Miami, Madrid, Rome, Toronto) and Caroline Wozniacki (2010 – Montreal, Tokyo, Beijing) as the only players to win three or more consecutive WTA 1000 titles in a single season.

But Swiatek stands alone as the first player to win the first three WTA 1000 tournaments in a season. It was her fourth career WTA 1000 title and the sixth singles title overall.

Swiatek becomes the first player to win 17 consecutive matches on hard courts in a single calendar year since Williams won 20 straight between the Australian Open and Toronto in 2015.

“I learned a lot about myself, that I can keep going, and really I don’t need to feel like 100 percent on points to win matches against great players,” Swiatek said. “I can trust myself a little bit more right now. I really used that streak to have more confidence, and also the ranking.”

Match times: A tricky 10-minute game started proceedings, with Osaka saving two break points and withstanding seven deuces before holding. A handful of close games followed before Swiatek won the first break of the day with a backhand crosscourt winner to lead 3-2.

That would prove to be the deciding moment. Swiatek marched to the one-set lead despite Osaka’s bold returning tactics from deep inside the court. Swiatek kept the momentum as the second set began, breaking Osaka right away with aggressive returns of his own.

All told, Swiatek reeled off the last seven games of the match to extend her stunning winning streak. Swiatek never faced a break point and prevailed on exactly two-thirds of Osaka’s second-service points (20 for 30).

“Playing against Naomi in a final was pretty exciting, and I knew that the world is going to watch, because it’s a nice match just to follow,” Swiatek said. “I wanted to give the best tennis I can so people actually can be satisfied. But on the other hand, just seeing that I can play that well against such a player is really satisfying.”

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