Iga Swiatek claims two huge prizes as she wins WTA Finals in Cancun

Kevin Palmer
Iga Światek wins WTA Finals in Cancun
Iga Światek wins WTA Finals in Cancun

The chaotic WTA Finals in Cancun were disastrous for the credibility of the women’s game on so many levels, but the final result produced a moment of history that confirmed who will be remembered as the queen of tennis for 2023.

Swiatek beat Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-0 to win the WTA Finals and with that, she confirmed her return to the top of the WTA rankings.

She also secures the year-end No 1 title and the manner of her win against Pegula confirms she deserves to reclaim the prestigious No 1 ranking.

This win capped off an 11-match winning streak for Swiatek, starting with her title win in Beijing and finishing with a clinical run of victories in Cancun.

The 22-year-old Pole proved far too strong for the fifth-seeded Pegula in a final held over to Monday due to persistent bad weather during the tournament.

Pegula had started solidly on her serve but swiftly unravelled, as Swiatek ruthlessly punished her American opponent’s errors to break twice in succession then serve out to love to take the opening set.

Further unforced errors gifted Swiatek the opening game of the second set and by the time Pegula was broken again – this time to love – to fall 3-0 behind, her body language already indicated the tie was all but over.

Pegula fashioned her first and only break point of the match when Swiatek served for the title at 5-0, but hit a backhand into the net and the Pole duly served to take the title with 59 minutes on the clock.

Her victory sealed a sixth WTA title of the year for Swiatek, who also won her third French Open, while Pegula will end a year that saw her reach two grand slam quarter-finals ranked fifth.

“It has not been easy this week,” declared Swiatek. “We have been shown a lot of friendship from the Mexican people. They cheered for us and made it special.

“Every year, I feel like I have more support and it really feels like I want to push for more.

“To the team that’s been with me the whole season. We had many ups and downs. This is for sure an up. We will for sure have many more if we keep working like that.”

Swiatek’s victory saw the curtain fall on a troubled tournament which drew criticism from the eight leading women players for its problematic build-up, with the temporary venue only completed with one day to spare.

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