Ash Barty has a new challenger for her world No.1 ranking with Iga Swiatek to jump up to second after becoming the first Polish woman to claim the title in Indian Wells.
Swiatek made it 11 wins in a row at WTA 1000 level by dispatching Sakkari 6-4 6-1 in an error-filled 80-minute final in windy conditions.
While Barty skipped the event in the California desert and ruled herself out of the upcoming Miami Masters, Swiatek has separated herself from the chasing pack.
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The 20-year-old leads the tour with 20 match wins in 2022 and has won back-to-back events, having secured the Qatar Open last month.
“After playing so well in previous tournaments, I didn’t know it was possible for me to play that well for that long,” Swiatek said.
In Swiatek’s past five finals, all of which she has won, she has dropped only a combined 16 games.
Sunday’s scoreline is the same as it was in her 2020 Roland Garros final, where she won her first career title.
Her new ranking equals the highest ever by a Polish player, matching Agnieszka Radwanska who got there in 2012.
Sakkari will improve to a new career-high ranking of world No.3 — matching Stefanos Tsitsipas’s career-high as the highest-ranked Greek players in history.
Swiatek lost each of the first three times she played Sakkari, all last year, but turned that around when they met in the semi-finals in Doha.
Gusty wind affected serves and shots by both Swiatek and Sakkari with seven service breaks in the first set alone.
Swiatek broke twice in the second set for a 5-1 lead and she served out the match, winning on a forehand in the corner of the baseline.