Iga Swiatek thrashed Jessica Pegula to win the season-ending WTA Finals and move back to the top of the women’s rankings. The Pole needed to beat the American in the final in Cancun to overtake Aryna Sabalenka as world number one, and she did so with a dominant 6-1 6-0 win. It is the first time Swiatek has won the WTA Finals tournament. She is the youngest champion of the tournament since Petra Kvitova’s 2011 win at the age of 21.
“I want to thank my team who have been with me for the whole season,” said Swiatek. “We’ve had many ups and downs but this is for sure an up, and we’ll have many more if we keep working like that.”
The final took place a day late on Monday following bad weather at the event but was played out in sunshine at the venue in Cancun, Mexico. The 22-year-old Swiatek was in clinical mood as Pegula struggled to find her range in a match lasting just 59 minutes. She overwhelmed her rival and broke to love to go 3-0 up on the way to securing her sixth WTA title of the season.
The victory ensured Swiatek will end the year as world number one for a second consecutive season. In 2022, she recorded a remarkable 37 straight wins and six successive titles, asserting herself as the top-ranked women’s player – where she would remain for 75 weeks until Sabalenka replaced her in September this year.
“2022 was so amazing that I don’t know if it’s going be possible for me to repeat a season like that,” Swiatek added. “So I just didn’t feel at the end like I’m in the shadow anymore because I knew that I’m having another great season. I learned my lesson and this time I didn’t want [the number one ranking] to have an impact on me. It did a little bit, it’s hard not to think about stuff like that, but I knew that I had to focus on different things.”