Photo : @iga_swiatek
A tournament that started in chaos ended in what is quickly becoming very predictable fashion.
So far in 2022, the end story of each WTA 1000 event has been the same: Iga Świątek dominates the final to claim the title.
The Pole became the first woman to win the first three WTA 1000 events of the season (since the current tour structure was created in 1990) by adding a victory in Miami to her wins in Doha and Indian Wells. She is a perfect 17-0, also her current winning streak, at the WTA 1000 level this year.
In the process, she also claimed the top spot in the world rankings, becoming the first tennis player, male or female, from Poland to be ranked No. 1. This came after Ashleigh Barty stunned the tennis world during the first week of the event by announcing her retirement, just the second singles player to retire while holding the top spot.
Świątek looked like the world’s best player from start to finish in Miami, not dropping a set on route to the title. Only twice did she lose more than four games in a match and she capped off the tournament with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Naomi Osaka in the final.
The opening set of the title match was fairly competitive, with one break in the fifth game being the difference. But once the Pole got rolling, there was no stopping her as Świątek won the last seven games in a row to take the title. She never faced a break point in the final and only lost 13 points on serve.
In her last six finals, she has not only not lost a set, but never lost more than five games in a match and has delivered four bagel sets.
The draw was not particularly kind to the 20-year-old either, as she had to beat Coco Gauff, Petra Kvitova and Jessica Pegula just to reach the final. The Pegula match was her closest of the tournament, when Świątek dropped a whopping seven games.
Paula Badosa was also in contention for the number one ranking at the event, but saw that window close when Świątek won her opening match. The Spaniard went on to retire in the quarter-finals.
Despite being unseeded, Osaka looked like her old self in Miami, beating Angelique Kerber, Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins, and Belinda Bencic on her way to her first final in over a year. Her finals loss to Świątek was her first defeat in a title match, walkovers excluded, since 2018.
Świątek leaves Miami on a 17-match winning streak and having won 20 consecutive sets. She will now look to become the first player, male or female, to win the first four 1000 level events of the season when the WTA lands in Madrid at the end of April.