We are witnessing a golden era of Polish tennis

Across the decades, Poland has had several tennis champions. Back in the 1970s, Wojciech Fibak was among the best tennis players on the planet. Polish fans then had to wait for decades to see some White and Reds making it to the top. 

This is what happened in the early 2010s. Agnieszka Radwańska climbed to the world number 2 ranking while a year later, the memorable 100% Polish semi-final of Wimbledon took place, opposing Jerzy Janowicz and Łukasz Kubot. In 2024, Poland is once again at the centre of attention, with several players imposing themselves among the very best, which makes the mid-2020s à golden era of Polish tennis.

First, we need to talk about the one and only Iga Świątek. The young Varsovian has been dominating the WTA tour for the last few years and continues to impress. Her 2022 season has indeed been one of many triumphs. She won 8 titles, including 2 Grand Slams. She also completed the longest winning streak of the WTA tour of the 21st century with 37 consecutive wins in the first half of the season.

This chart shows the latest evolutions of the WTA ranking (29 January 2024) of Polish players in the top 1000.

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 female players with the most weeks on the coveted first spot when she took over Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki (71 weeks). By the end of February, she will pass the symbolic threshold of 90 weeks spent on the throne of world number 1. She is chasing the American Lindsay Davenport who was on top of the charts for 98 weeks overall. 

Hubert Hurkacz has been the other most recognisable tennis star from Poland in the last few years. The giant from Wrocław just reached his highest-ever ATP ranking following his quarter-finals in the Australian Open. Last year, he won his second Masters 1000 and imposed himself as a stable member of the top 10. His best result in Grand Slams so far was to reach the semi-final of Wimbledon in 2021. 

Apart from these two stars, let’s not forget about Magdalena Fręch (51) and Magda Linette (56), but also rising stars such as Katarzyna Kawa (196) and Maja Chwalińska. The latter recently jumped by 55 positions to enter the top 300. On the men’s side, we could also mention Kamil Majchrzak who rose to 75th place in the ATP ranking in 2022 and the young Maks Kasnikowski who clubs slowly but surely in the top 300 (currently 271).  

Last but not least, let’s emphasise that in the mixed doubles’ category at the Australian Open, Jan Zieliński surprised everyone with his partner Su-Wei Hsieh and won the title. The story of these two is all the more inspiring when we know that Su-Wei Hsieh is 38 and that she did not even know her Polish partner a few weeks ago. Hsieh was looking for a partner for the mixed doubles category and that is when Jan Zieliński proposed to team up with her.

Long story short, we are witnessing a golden era of Polish tennis that – hopefully – is just beginning. 

 

Image: X (@iga_swiatek)

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen

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