Iga Swiatek has become the first player since Serena Williams in 2013 and 2014 to have two consecutive seasons with 10+ wins over top-10 players, via OptaAce. On Wednesday, Swiatek defeated world No 3 Coco Gauff 6-0 7-5 at the WTA Finals in Cancun.
Last year, four-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek had 15 wins over top-10 players. By beating Gauff in Cancun, Swiatek earned her 10th top-10 win of the 2023 season. The last player to achieve such a feat was the great Williams, who retired from tennis last year and went down as one of the greatest players in tennis history.
10 - Iga Swiatek is the first player to secure 10+ wins against top-10 opponents for consecutive seasons (15 in 2022 and 10 in 2023) since Serena Williams in 2013-2014. Juggler.#WTAFinals | @WTA @WTA_insider @WTAFinals pic.twitter.com/IXlg7jHR7L — OptaAce (@OptaAce) November 1, 2023
Swiatek closed out the Gauff match in two sets
After bageling Gauff in the first set, Swiatek fell down by an early break to Gauff in the second set.
Swiatek managed to get the break back in the eighth game but Gauff broke the Pole again in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead. On the verge of losing the second set, Swiatek responded by breaking Gauff in the 10th and 12th games to overturn the deficit and escape with a two-set win. “In the second set, obviously, it got more tight.
I was happy I stayed focused. I had plenty of chances in her first service games to break back, but I knew somehow I would use one of those chances," Swiatek said. The second set wasn't pretty but Swiatek was glad that she was able to find the right answers and win it.
“I would say this match wasn’t consistent, in terms of the level. So for sure, adjusting to everything that happened was the most important thing. It took me a while because I was a break down in the second set. I’m happy that I could actually problem-solve a little the way to win these last games.
And the key was, maybe being confident and mentally not focusing on the score, but really just sticking with the plan that worked in the first set," Swiatek said.