Iga Swiatek hits a milestone only Serena Williams can beat after thumping win

Kevin Palmer
Iga Swiatek in action
Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates after her tennis match

The records keep coming for world No 1 Iga Swiatek and she is now the proud owner of a record that can only be beaten by the great Serena Williams.

Swiatek swatted Italy’s Camila Giorgi in a manner that has long since been the norm for the Polish star, as she won 6-1 6-1 to reach the third round of the Miami Open.

This was only 100th match at a WTA 1000 tournament – the elite level of the game and just below the four Grand Slams – of Swiatek’s career and it served up a stunning 81st win, with Serena Williams (87) the only player to secure more wins at this formative stage of a tennis career.

Remarkably, Swiatek is now 71-0 after winning the opening set at WTA-1000 events and she has won 67 of those matches in straight sets, highlighting her impressive frontrunning skills.

The aura she now brings onto a tennis court ensures her opponents fear the worst if she gets off to an early lead, with Swiatek enjoying the dominance she has over her rivals.

In her pre-tournament press conference in Miami, Swiatek played down talk of her dominance, as she insisted she never looks too far ahead.

“I don’t feel like we should talk about ifs. I’ll do everything step by step, as usual. No need for me to like, go and already think about winning the trophy, because I haven’t even practised here,” she said.

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“I still have many matches to play so we’ll see how it’s going to go. Obviously, it would be a dream come true. It’s not an easy task.

“I felt like I even overachieved two years ago. So this time, I’m just going to do everything as usual, and I think that is the best way to go.

“In terms of the conditions here, it’s always difficult, it’s humid and hot. But I remember I really felt comfortable, you know, on the surface two years ago, so I’ll see what my practice brings me.

“For now, I’m taking everything step by step. I don’t have any expectations because I know how tough this tournament is. And how hard it is to handle it sometimes?”

Swiatek is keen to play down her status as the queen of the women’s game, but tennis icon Martina Navratilova is convinced she will continue to be the player to beat for some time to come.

“Iga might not be the quickest player out there but she’s the most complete player out there and it really shows up on slow courts like this,” said nine-time Wimbledon champion Navratilova on Sky Sports Tennis.

“She is a fantastic player and is the best front-runner we have had in the game since Serena Williams.

“Also, she can get better. Her serve can improve so watch out.”

Swiatek is the firm favourite to add the Miami Open title to the Indian Wells trophy she won last week, with world No 31 Linda Noskova from the Czech Republic her next opponent in the third round.