The 17-year-old Pole Iga Swiatek is one of the most promising young stars on the WTA Tour and among the best ones born in 2001, already cracking the top-130 and carving her way towards the elite 100. Winning her first ITF junior title at the age of 14, Iga went on to conquer the Canadian Open Junior Championships, AGL Loy Yang Traralgon Junior International, Roland Garros doubles title and Wimbledon singles crown in 2018, competing at just seven junior events since 2017 to work on her pro career.
Instead of battling with her coevals, the Warsaw native was ready to embrace the professional challenge, conquering the very first pro event she entered in Stockholm in 2016, still at the age of 15! Six more titles followed in 2017 and 2018, including $60,000 Budapest and Montreux events that propelled her on the WTA ranking list and made one of the players to watch in the years to come.
Iga qualified for the main draw at the Australian Open this January and defeated Anna Bogdan in the opening round for the maiden WTA win on the biggest stage, backed by another one in Budapest where she toppled her rival from the junior days Olga Danilovic.
Swiatek is a part of the Warsaw Sports Group and they are taking good care of her career and development, adding sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz to her team. Daria joins Piotr Sierzputowski, Jola Rusin-Krzepota and Tomasz Swiatek and she will travel with Iga to all tournaments, working on the mental aspect of her game which is one of the crucial elements in the modern tennis, especially for such a young girl.
The results were not there at Indian Wells and Miami where Swiatek failed to pass the qualifying round but it is so far so good for her in Lugano, advancing into the first WTA semi-final after ousting the 8th seed Vera Lapko 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours and four minutes.
The Pole lost serve five times which didn't cost her much after creating plenty of opportunities on the return. Lapko had to play against 19 break chances, falling on seven of those to send the younger player through after not being able to match her pace in the decider.
Vera was under all kind of pressure in the opener and dealt with it perfectly, repelling ten out of 11 break points (ten of those in games eight and ten) and breaking Iga twice for a 6-4. A teenager grabbed the last two games at 4-4 in set number two and the momentum was on her side now, scoring three straight breaks in the deciding set (four overall) to book the place in the last four.
With these points, Iga Swiatek will crack the top-100 on Monday, becoming only the fourth player born in 2001 to achieve that after Amanda Anisimova, Anastasia Potapova and Olga Danilovic, continuing her march towards the very top of women's game and hoping to go all the way and lift the first WTA trophy at such a young age.