Swiatek’s swift surge to Doha title
WORLD number one Iga Swiatek made light work of the rest of the competition at Doha, claiming the WTA 500 title in just three hours. That was not the length of the final, but rather, the entire tournament, as Swiatek dropped just five games in three matches, as well as having a first round bye and a walkover, to cruise to another trophy and defend her 2022 title.
Taking on second seed Jessica Pegula in the final, the Polish number one brushed aside her talented opponent 6-3 6-0 in a dominant performance to cap off a memorable Qatar Open. It was Swiatek’s first title of the year, and 12th of her career, as she destroyed 2022 Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins, and eighth seed Veronika Kudermetova in second round and semi-final respectively.
“I’m really happy that I could kind of find more balance, comparing to how I felt at the beginning of the season,” Swiatek said post-match. “I think this tournament is going to give me a lot of confidence, but still, I want to take everything step by step. I’m just really happy that I could win this match today.”
Swiatek won 72 and 50 per cent of her first and second serve points off a 73 per cent clip, as Pegula struggled to gain any ascendency off her own racquet, winning just 19 of 49 service points (39 per cent). That allowed Swiatek to break six times from nine chances, with Pegula winning two of her three games off the world number one’s serve.
“Yesterday it kind of hit me that even though it’s windy, I can use the wind properly and kind of use my intuition to sometimes imagine that I should play shorter, or on the other hand, play with more topspin so the wind is going to kind of take this ball even further,” Swiatek said.
“So today I just kind of continued that, but I didn’t really want to overanalyse that, and I just kind of played how my intuition told me. It’s nice, because usually I’m basing everything on my tactics and on the technique that I’m working on. But here I felt like I could just reset that and play more freely without overthinking.”
The world number one now heads straight to Dubai, where luckily she has a bye in the opening round of the WTA 1000 event. Following a rest, she will likely take on Canadian US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez. The world number 39 faces Austrian qualifier, Julia Grabher in the first round. Pegula also heads to Dubai, with the third seed taking on the winner of Kaia Kanepi or Viktoriya Tomova in the Round of 32.