Poland’s Iga Swiatek will take over the world No.1 ranking in style after keeping her remarkable winning run intact with a 6-4 6-0 win over Japan’s Naomi Osaka in the Miami Open final.
The Polish second seed, who will take over the top spot next week by replacing Ash Barty, did not drop a set in Miami and has now won 17 consecutive matches dating back to her championship run at the Qatar Open in February.
The 20-year-old Swiatek becomes only the fourth woman to win the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments back-to-back, a feat known as the “Sunshine Double” given the tournaments’ respective locations in California and Florida.
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“These weeks were so intense I didn’t really know if I would able to keep up with the streak that I have,” said Swiatek, who also became the first woman to win the opening three WTA 1000 tournaments in a season.
“It’s amazing for me that I could show mental toughness because my whole life I thought I could do more and sometimes I was losing and I didn’t even know why.
“This season I feel like everything clicked so it’s great and I am really happy.”
Swiatek is the first women to complete the “Sunshine Double” since Victoria Azarenka in 2016. Kim Clijsters (2005) and Steffi Graf (1994, 1996) are the other women to accomplish the feat.
Osaka arrived in Florida following a second-round loss at Indian Wells where she was reduced to tears after being heckled during the match but she proved resilient as she would only drop one set en route to the Miami final.
In the final, Osaka did well to hold serve in a tricky 10-minute game to start the match and while she was not able to do much against a determined Swiatek after that she still held her head high.
“I haven’t been in this position for a little minute,” said the 24-year-old Osaka, who took a break from the sport last year to prioritise her mental health.
“I know this isn’t the outcome that you guys wanted but I am having a lot of fun out here so I hope that I can keep working hard and get more opportunities to be in a situation like this again.”
Swiatek will take over the top ranking from Barty, who stunned the sporting world last month when she announced her retirement from tennis aged 25.