Ash Barty’s shock retirement earlier this year left the tennis world in shock and wondering who could possibly step out of his shadow.
It didn’t take long for us to find out as Iga Swiatek bullied the rest of the WTA Tour and deservedly took his place as world number one.
The 20-year-old has won her last 28 games, the longest since Serena Williams won 34 consecutively in 2013.
If she won the French Open, and she is such an overwhelming favorite that it would be a shock if she did not win, then that streak would extend to 35, matching Venus Williams’ streak set in 2000.
His numbers are nothing short of frightening, winning five successive titles – Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and most recently Rome.
It’s not just the fact that she’s won all of those tournaments, it’s how utterly dominant she has been over the rest of the field.
In her 28-match winning streak, she has dropped only five sets. This series includes 12 sets of bagels (6-0) and 10 others won by a score of 6-1.
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The quality of his opponents was also high, with 21 of them in the top 50, while seven were against the top 10.
Swiatek is already a Grand Slam champion after winning the French Open in 2020, becoming the youngest person since Rafael Nadal to win a Slam.
This domination has not gone unnoticed by the good and the great in the world of tennis.
“We knew she was a fierce competitor, already a major champion before this decision,” said former player Andy Roddick.
“And the fact that she was able to deploy it in match circumstances and is much better, she dominates now.
“It’s like Tyson, when he was fighting back then and he got up and started punching people. There was no dancing around. She just punches people in the mouth now. is fun to watch.
When she steps onto the red clay at Roland Garros, she will instill the same level of fear in hero opponents that Tyson did in his debut.
Swiatek has proven particularly dominant on clay, with her only Grand Slam title so far coming on clay.
Does this dominance remind you of anyone? Maybe a certain Rafael Nadal? Well, he’s a huge inspiration to the Polish superstar and always a big fan around him.
“Rafa has always been my idol,” she said. “I have quite sad memories of Roland Garros last year because I was crying when Rafa lost to Novak.
“But two years ago, I was watching the final. I had the trophy photoshoot [after she won the women’s title]. I wore this very beautiful long dress and I went to see the final [Nadal-Djokovic] like that.
“It was good because I didn’t get the chance to see Rafa play so often. I wanted to take this opportunity.
With Nadal aiming for his 14th French Open title and Novak Djokovic looking to match it on 21 Grand Slam titles, the women’s side of the game is all about the youngsters.
Swiatek looks set to dominate for years to come and with the likes of Emma Raducanu also bursting onto the scene, it looks like the future is in good hands.