Winning her maiden Grand Slam at the 2020 Roland Garros, Iga Swiatek will be competing for her second major title at the same tournament this year.
Now in red-hot form after securing the Italian Open, world number one Iga Swiatek has continued her rampage of extraordinary success. Winning her fifth straight title on the clay courts of Rome, the Pole is now making huge strides toward Roland Garros success and positioning herself as the player to beat in Paris. Sealing off her eighth career title by defeating Ons Jabeur for her 28th win in a row, Swiatek is on her way to major success and will likely break some records along the way too.
No sets dropped in Rome
Iga Swiatek’s success in Rome is only amplified by the fact that she did not drop a single set en route to the title. Not even elite WTA Top 10 players such as Ons Jabeur or Aryna Sabalenka were able to get close to winning a set off of the relentless 20-year-old. Indeed, a classic case of “it’s not what she did, but how she did it,” as Swiatek’s recent tournament wins are backed by a series of incredible performances that have left her opponents without an answer.
A similar phenomenon occurred at the Miami Open, where Iga Swiatek defeated a series of top-ranked players without dropping a single set en route to claiming the title. The likes of Naomi Osaka, Jessica Pegula, and Coco Gauff were all helpless against the unstoppable Pole. After securing the Indian Wells and Miami Open for the Sunshine Double, Swiatek’s favorite time of year had dawned upon her as the clay season began.
Clay court prowess
Starting off her clay season run with the Stuttgart Open, Iga Swiatek took the title again with little competition in her way. Having only dropped a single set to Liudmila Samsonova in the semifinal, the Pole showed incredible prowess on the clay court. She demonstrated her iconic heavy topspin game that always reaps the benefits of the surface’s potential. Taking down Emma Raducanu and Aryna Sabalenka on her way to a seventh career title, Swiatek claimed the Stuttgart Open to set herself up for a successful clay season ahead.
As of most recently, Iga Swiatek’s success in Rome has consolidated her amazing clay season headstart. After not dropping a single set this time around, the Pole was able to claim her eighth WTA title, 28th consecutive match win, and fifth consecutive tournament by taking down ninth seed Ons Jabeur in the final. Indeed, Swiatek’s on-court movement, coupled with her heavy topspin style and sliding abilities, makes her a force to be reckoned with on clay, and she will surely carry these traits with her as the Roland Garros draws closer.
Since the retirement of Ash Barty earlier this year, few have been able to compete with Iga Swiatek, regardless of whether the surface was hard or clay court. The world No.1 has demonstrated her ability to contend with and overcome just about any of the remaining players in the WTA. Players that once had the edge over Swiatek have seemingly lost that position as the Pole continues to overcome obstacles from her past.
Players such as Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari, and Paula Badosa have been unable to defeat Swiatek in recent times as they have been in previous years. US Open finalists Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez have also been unable to take a set off the world’s number one. During her feat of securing five WTA titles in a row, Swiatek showed she could silence any player in the Top 10 that challenged her.
With the competition starting to diminish for Iga Swiatek, it might take someone like Garbine Muguruza, who has yet to face the Pole in recent times. Alongside Danielle Collins, the two remain as the only Top 10 players left who have not been beat by Swiatek this year. Impressively, Collins had knocked Swiatek out of the Australian Open earlier this year, though it is debatable whether she could achieve the same feat now, especially on the clay surface.
Final thoughts for Roland Garros 2022
With all these stats in mind, Iga Swiatek is once again the clear favorite as we head into the Roland Garros in just a week’s time. Her relentless form since her first title of the year in Qatar has carried over to the clay season, where she is as dominant as ever. With Ash Barty out for good, Iga Swiatek may well be ushering in the new era of women’s tennis as she extends her time at the world’s number one position. With Roland Garros just around the corner, it’s sure to be an interesting tournament with plenty of epic matchups in store! (photos: Jimmie48)