Iga Swiatek looks to unlock new treble achievement as she could match unique Serena Williams feat at French Open

Shahida Jacobs
Iga Swiatek celebrations
Iga Swiatek, of Poland, drinks sparkling wine

Iga Swiatek continues to notch up impressive milestones as she has joined the exclusive club of players who have won back-to-back Madrid Open and Italian Open titles.

By winning the “Dirtball Double”, Swiatek now finds herself on the brink of yet another rare feat.

The four-time Grand Slam winner became only the third women’s player in history and the fifth overall to win consecutive clay-court titles in the Spanish and Italian capitals.

A fortnight ago she defeated Aryna Sabalenka in three sets in the Madrid showpiece match and she followed it up with a two-set win over the world No 2 in the Rome final on Saturday.

With those titles, Swiatek emulated Dinara Safina (2009) and Serena Williams (2013) in achieving the Madrid-Rome double on the WTA Tour while Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have pulled it off on the ATP Tour.

READ MORE: The 5 players who have won the Madrid-Rome ‘Dirtball Double’ as Iga Swiatek achieves rare feat

Swiatek is now on course to win the Madrid-Rome-Roland Garros treble and only one player has done it on the WTA Tour as Williams completed the “hat-trick” just over a decade ago.

Tennis great Williams defeated Maria Sharapova in the Madrid final, Victoria Azarenka in the Rome final and Sharapova again in the French Open final.

However, the tennis calendar did look different before the Madrid Open was given WTA 1000 status in 2009 as it replaced the German Open with Berlin a Tier I tournament from 1982 until 2008.

The great Steffi Graf won that specific treble in 1987 as she beat Gabriela Sabatini in the Rome final, Claudia Kohde-Kilsch in the Berlin final and Martina Navratilova at Roland Garros.

Three years later Monica Seles defeated Navratilova in Rome before winning finals in Berlin and Paris against Graf.

Amelie Mauresmo came close in 2004 as she won the Berlin-Rome titles, but lost in the quarter-final at Roland Garros.

Swiatek was asked after her Rome victory if she knew how many players won Madrid, Rome and Paris in the same year and her reply was: “Rafa?”

She wasn’t wrong as 22-time Grand Slam winner Nadal also achieved the feat in 2010 and 2013.

The Pole, who turns 23 on May 31, will no doubt head to Roland Garros as the player to beat and when asked about her status as favourite, she replied: “Well, I’m No. 1 so I’m the favourite everywhere if you look at rankings. But rankings don’t play, so…

“I’ll do everything step by step and we’ll see.”

READ MORE: 5 amazing Iga Swiatek stats as she dominates Aryna Sabalenka with Italian Open masterclass