WTA 2022 recap: Iga Swiatek, imperial and unchallenged

The 2022 tennis season has just ended and it’s time to take stock of a year full of emotions on both the men’s and women’s circuit. Among the women, a Polish woman dominated the season head and shoulders, winning eight titles including two Grand Slam successes at Roland-Garros and the US Open. A look back at a sensational season for a player who has now taken over the reins of a WTA circuit in search of a leader for several years now.

An Australian “handover” tour

Last tenniswoman to have dominated the circuit head and shoulders, Ashleigh Barty lived her last moments in her career during the Australian tour at the start of the season.

Committed to the Adelaide tournament to prepare for the first Grand Slam lift of the season, it was on a defeat against the local star in the semi-finals that the Pole suffered her first setback of the season. Arrived in the semi-finals in Melbourne, Iga Swiatek lost without really finding a solution against Danielle Collins, future finalist of the tournament, losing against an Ashleigh Barty who will play in the biggest city of her country the last match of her huge career.

Now a big attraction on the women’s circuit, Iga Swiatek will have to assume the role of favorite in all the tournaments she will play, expectations that she will very quickly endorse wonderfully from the Doha tournament last February.

Doha, its first title in 2022 after an idyllic week

Hired in Dubai a few weeks after her elimination in Australia, Iga Swiatek will experience her first disappointment of the season. Well entered into her tournament after a success over the solid Russian player Daria Kasatkina, the Polish will bow in three sets after leading a set to zero against the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, author of a very good comeback in a very poorly boarded.

Competing in the Doha tournament the following week with a very similar line-up of players in the Qatari competition, Iga Swiatek was to have a string of great successes against the best players in the world. Imposing herself with difficulty against the most affordable player of her week on paper, Viktorija Golubic, it is then without losing the slightest set that the Pole will win her first trophy of the season, dismissing in turn Daria Kasatkina (a again), Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari and Annett Kontaveit, three players in the WTA Top 5 for the majority of this 2022 season.

The North American tour, a real show of force

Heading for the United States, Iga Swiatek is engaged in Indian Wells then Miami in the classic series of hard-court tournaments before the start of the clay-court season.

By conceding three times in her first three meetings at Indian Wells in the first round, she will show great solidity to win before meeting Madison Keys in the quarter-finals, Simona Halep in the semi-finals and a Maria Sakkari who is powerless against the power of the Polish in the final (6/4 6/1). Now on a series of two consecutive tournaments won, Iga Swiatek will continue with the Miami tournament, which she will conclude with as much success.

By never conceding more than three games in sets, no more than six per game until the quarter-finals, Iga Swiatek made an amazing start to Miami. Remaining on a series of eleven victories before starting the competition, she dominated the Florida WTA 1000 head and shoulders where she offered herself Coco Gauff in the third round, Jessica Pegula in the semi-finals and a Naomi Osaka as the we believe capable of stopping his hegemony in the final but which will never really exist in the match (6/4 6/0). With now seventeen consecutive successes on the circuit, the series of victories of the Pole is exceptional for the one who will now play the start of her season on clay.

A mind-blowing clay-court season and a record winning streak

By starting her season on ocher in Stuttgart, a tournament she won, the fourth of her season with a very controlled final against Aryna Sabalenka (6/2 6/2), Iga Swiatek went on to achieve 21 consecutive victories on the circuit before to set sail for Rome, the major tournament of his preparation for Roland-Garros.

Again opposed to the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-final of the Italian tournament, she will win again without conceding the slightest set like the final against Ons Jabeur which she will win by giving up only three games. , bringing his record of consecutive victories to 26 before starting his Roland Garros tournament including six games without dropping a set.

Big favorite at Roland Garros and having inherited a fairly affordable table until the quarter-finals, she dismissed the Ukrainian Tsurenko without losing a set; the American Riske-Amritraj and the Montenegrin Kovinic before conceding the first set against Qinwen Zheng. Winning out of this meeting, she will not leave her opponents a chance afterwards, giving them only twelve games in three meetings to conclude against a Coco Gauff disappointed by the level of play of a player who concludes the Parisian tournament on a series of 33 successes in a row.

Wimbledon disappointment and a frustrating home loss

Without WTA points awarded at the Grand Slam in London this year, the Pole arrives at Wimbledon without having played any preparation tournament on grass. Winner of her first two rounds, it is the French Alizé Cornet who will stop her incredible series of 35 victories by offering herself in two sets the winner of Roland Garros who knows on July 02 her first defeat since February 16, i.e. nearly five months and a setback to Jelena Ostapenko in Dubai.

After a break of almost a month following Wimbledon, her return to the courts is at home in Warsaw on clay shortly before heading to the United States and the preparation for the US Open. Dominating unchallenged against modest players in her first two games, she lost to Caroline Garcia, launched towards her second title of the season, a real disappointment for the one who wanted to offer herself a trophy at home in a tournament which had disappeared since 2010 from the women’s tennis calendar.

His second Grand Slam of the season, the most unexpected

At the end of a failed preparation and two tournaments where she will accumulate only one victory before suffering two setbacks against Beatriz Haddad Maia in Toronto and Madison Keys in Cincinnati for a confidence which seems to have abandoned her at dawn to be able to win his first Grand Slam on the North American continent.

Little worried on her first laps where she faces many local players of an average level (Stephens, Davis or even the German Niemeyer), it is once again Jessica Pegula that Iga Swiatek offers herself in the quarter-finals, at the same stage as their meeting which ended in the same outcome at Roland Garros. New reunion with Aryna Sabalenka for their fourth clash of the season in just nine months, the Belarusian will once again suffer the law of the Pole who will nevertheless concede the first set before being much more solid from the baseline to join the final at Flushing Meadows.

Opposed to Ons Jabeur, whom she had already defeated in the final in Rome, and facing a Tunisian still tormented by her lost final at Wimbledon, the Pole will offer herself her second major tournament of the season and a seventh trophy in 2022.

A final success at the end of the season and a painful setback in Texas

Engaged in Ostrava for her return to Europe, Iga Swiatek begins her indoor season with a lost final against Barbora Krejcikova in a very high level and very balanced match, the first that the Pole seems to lose “on a regular basis” without leaving mentally of the encounter.

Four days after this final, it is the United States who are again on the program for the double-winner in the Grand Slam this season who will win at the San Diego tournament, offering themselves once again Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula in their country before heading to Fort Worth, Texas and the WTA Finals.

Imperial during the group stage with three successes two sets to zero against Daria Kasatkina, Caroline Garcia and Coco Gauff (4-0 for the Pole this season), it is in a very surprising way that Aryna Sabalenka will achieve to win when she had already had to give in four times in 2022 before offering herself the Polish woman for the first time in a very disjointed meeting (2/6 6/2 1/6).

Maxime Labrot

A big fan of sports of all kinds, Olympique de Marseille makes my heart beat, Benoît Paire takes my head and Tiger Woods makes me vibrate.

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WTA 2022 recap: Iga Swiatek, imperial and unchallenged

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