Iga Swiatek was in fine form recently when she managed to secure her twenty-first consecutive win by beating Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu 6-4 6-4 to progress to the Stuttgart Open semi-finals. The Polish star has been in fine form of late, and continues to justify her position as world number one, the title she has held since the start of April.
The signs were promising for Swiatek from the very first game of the match, as she managed to break US Open Champion Raducanu’s serve. And while Raducanu mounted a challenge, it was always going to be 20-year-old Swiatek’s day. The final opportunity for the Brit to get on level terms was early in the second set, but Swiatek stuck to her task well, forcing another break, which opened the door for an impressive straight-set finish.
Defeating Raducanu in straight sets is an impressive standalone achievement. But, when you consider it wasn’t just Swiatek’s twenty-first consecutive victory, but also her twenty-eight consecutive set victory, her current form looks even better. She’s also shown that she is willing to dig deep when needed, with the match against Raducanu lasting for one hour and forty-five minutes.
Swiatek, who rose to the top of the world rankings when Australian superstar Ashleigh Barty decided to retire from the sport, has already proven herself in the Grand Slams, winning the French Open back in 2020. She also managed to put on an impressive display at the Australian Open earlier this year, where she lost to Barty in the semi-finals. And, there was no shame in that defeat, as it was Barty who went on to win the tournament.
Now, in her position as world number one, and with her current form making waves in female tennis, pressure is building on Swiatek to add another Grand Slam to her collection to reaffirm her status as the best on the planet right now. And, with the French Open coming up on 22 May, it offers the ideal opportunity for the Pole to rise to the challenge.
If Poland’s first world number one can stay on track and remain unbeaten, it’s sure to work in her favour, potentially putting doubts into the minds of those who she meets on the court. And, it’s fair to say that she’s feeling incredibly at ease, even though her reputation is skyrocketing.
Swiatek said, “For me, it doesn’t really matter. When I reached number one, it was surprising for me. I didn’t change,” when asked about her rising status. And her performance against Raducanu is further evidence of this. In the crucial moments and under incredible pressure, she managed to get what she was looking for. For example, she fought back against four of the five break points the Brit earned. It will certainly stand her in good stead with tougher tests to come in the Stuttgart Open and beyond.