Iga Swiatek win No.61 of her stellar 2022 campaign on Thursday in San Diego, notching a hard-fought, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 triumph over China’s Zheng Qinwen to improve to 14-4 in three-setters and 39-6 on hard courts.
On a chilly, sometimes drizzly afternoon in Southern California, he Pole was forced to a decider by Zheng for the second time this year and, once again, she came away impressed by the ball-striking of the 20-year-old talent.
“It was tricky, especially that it’s my third day here – I’m still a little bit jetlagged and it’s hard to keep the energy up,” Swiatek said. “The feeling of playing against her. She has a different game style. She’s playing topspin on her forehand and the ball is flying pretty high. For sure I need to adjust to that.”
Iga Swwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwiatek ✅
61 wins and counting – the most in a single season since @CaroWozniacki in 2017!@iga_swiatek | #SanDiegoOpen pic.twitter.com/6vmdBDNFBz
— wta (@WTA) October 13, 2022
It has been a truly remarkable season for Swiatek, who has dominated the tour and run the table since becoming the tour’s 28th World No.1 on April 4, just a few weeks after Ashleigh Barty announced her retirement.
Since then the 21-year-old has not skipped a beat, winning her second and third major titles at Roland-Garros and the US Open while taking her overall title count to seven.
On Thursday she spoke of the surprising nature of her rise, saying that she didn’t expect to put forth a season this good until she was in her mid-twenties.
“It’s pretty amazing,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting to have this kind of season this year. I thought maybe I’m gonna be at my peak when I’m 24 or 25, and have that experience, maybe then results like that are gonna come.”
Swiatek, who will face either Bianca Andreescu or Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals on Friday at San Diego, says she’s feeling blessed that she has done so well.
“I’m pretty happy that I’m able to give my all right now and to play well and to be in that place. As I said in Ostrava, my dreams are coming true, so I’m pretty proud of myself and the team that we are able to play good until the end of the season.” “The draw is so good – I wasn’t expecting any easy matches.
Meanwhile, the tour is blessed to have such a humble, talented leader – one who will set the bar higher for the field in the years to come.