Iga Świątek reigns in the tennis world for 80 weeks and counting

Iga Świątek just finished her second consecutive season as world number 1 after an impressive WTA Finals performance where she did not lose a single set.

The Varsovian secured her place on the throne for the first time back in April 2022 when Ashleigh Barty surprisingly retired from professional tennis and decided to cancel her accumulated WTA points. This allowed Iga (number 2 at the time) to take the leadership of the classification.

She later became the third woman in tennis history to spend over 57 consecutive weeks as world number 1 in her first stint. Only two other players did so before her, namely Steffi Graf (186) and Martina Hingis (80).

Although her 2023 campaign was statistically less dominant than her 2022 season, Świątek still won six titles. She triumphed in Doha, Stuttgart, Paris (French Open), Warsaw, Beijing, and Cancún (WTA Finals). At only 22, Iga has already won 17 titles overall.

Last summer, the Polish champion entered the top 10 of the female players with most weeks on the coveted first spot when she took over Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki (71 weeks). Her next target is now the American Lindsay Davenport who was on top of the charts for 98 weeks, from the late 1990s to the early 2000s with several breaks.

Despite having a slim advance of merely 245 points over number 2 Aryna Sabalenka, Świątek is already assured to stay number 1 at least until mid-January. Besides, it is likely that the Varsovian will remain on top even a few weeks longer than that as Sabalenka will have many points to defend at the Australian Open taking place in the second half of January and which she won in 2023.

In other words, reaching Lindsay Davenport’s 98 weeks and even passing the symbolic threshold of 100 weeks on the throne of tennis seem to be realistic goals to achieve for Iga Świątek in 2024.

Image: X (@iga_swiatek)

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen

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