Iga Swiatek says returning to the world No 1 spot is "a dream come true" and admitted that she didn't really expect to return to the top spot in 2023. On Monday, Swiatek destroyed Jessica Pegula 6-1 6-0 in the final at the WTA Finals.
Going into the match, the scenarios were pretty simple for Swiatek - beat Pegula and return to the world No 1 spot or lose to Pegula and see Aryna Sabalenka finish as the Year-End No 1. Previously, Swiatek was the top-ranked player for 75 consecutive weeks before Sabalenka replaced her at the top spot on September 11th.
“The conditions here were kind of tricky - it helped me to just focus on my footwork, my shots, and that just kept me busy from thinking about all of that. Coming back to world No 1, it's a dream come true for sure. I would say I wasn't expecting that right now this season.
I was kind of hoping that maybe next year is going to be my year. But it seems like I'm just working hard and focusing on the right things and work. So I'm really happy," Swiatek said, via Eurosport.
Swiatek regains the world No 1 spot from Sabalenka
After exiting the US Open in the round-of-16 and also losing the world No 1 ranking, Swiatek admitted that she kind of got lost in enormous expectations and pressure.
That was the moment when Swiatek took a step back to analyze mistakes that she made so she could try to avoid in the future. "2022 was so amazing that I don't know if it's going to be possible for me to repeat a season like that.
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. And honestly, I kind of accepted that I'm not going to have a season like that, like in 2022, and I just looked forward.
I learned my lesson and this time I didn't want [the No 1 ranking] to have an impact on me. It did a little bit - it's hard not to think about stuff like that - but actually, when I went on court, I knew that I had to focus on different things," Swiatek explained. Swiatek has now finished as the Year-End No 1 for the second consecutive season.