Iga Swiatek leaves tennis world in disbelief amid 'ridiculous' scenes

The tennis world is running out of superlatives for the women's World No.1.

Pictured here, Iga Swiatek celebrates during her win in the last-16 in Dubai.
Iga Swiatek continued her brutal run of form after dropping just one game in her most recent win in Dubai. Pic: WTA/Getty

Iga Swiatek has left the tennis world in disbelief after continuing her devastating run of form in terrifying style during her last-16 match at the Dubai WTA tournament. Swiatek thumped Liudmila Samsonova 6-1, 6-0 in the latest brutal showcase of her extraordinary form.

Fresh from her title triumph at last week's Qatar Open - where Swiatek became the first woman in 98 years to win a tournament after dropping just five games - the Pole is dishing out more misery on her rivals in Dubai. Swiatek also beat Leylah Fernandez 6-1, 6-1 in her previous match, before going one better against Samsonova in a match that lasted just 76 minutes.

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The reigning French and US Open champion was due to face Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals after the Czech downed Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2. However, Pliskova handed the World No.1 a free passage into the semi-finals after withdrawing from the match, citing effects from a virus and cramps.

"After playing the finals here a few years ago and doing very well this year, it's very disappointing for me," Pliskova tweeted. "But after struggling with a virus and cramps for a couple hours right after my match, I'm not able to continue."

One could only imagine how a player battling cramps and a virus would have fared in the last-eight against a World No.1 who has only dropped eight games in her last six matches. That stretch included Swiatek's Doha title triumph, and she has systematically dismantled opponents in her path recently - many of whom have been former major winners or top-20 players.

"She is different," men' former World No.1 Andy Murray tweeted in appreciation of Swiatek. The British great was not alone as the tennis world celebrated the undisputed queen of women's tennis right now.

Aryna Sabalenka still unbeaten in 2023

Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka also continued her flawless start to the year, making it 13 wins from as many matches in 2023 by dethroning defending champion Jelena Ostapenko 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. Ostapenko won the tournament last year and looked to be in with a chance of extending her winning streak in Dubai to seven matches.

Sabalenka had other ideas though and launched a strong recovery to reach the quarter-finals and extend her unbeaten start to the year to 13 matches. "In the first set, she played unbelievable tennis and I couldn't do anything," World No.2 Sabalenka said.

Seen here, Aryna Sabalenka celebrates after defeating defending champion Jelena Ostapenko in Dubai.
Aryna Sabalenka celebrates after defeating defending champion Jelena Ostapenko in Dubai. Pic: Getty (Christopher Pike via Getty Images)

"I was looking at my team asking like, 'What can I do?' but somehow, I turned around this game, and started playing really incredible tennis." Sabalenka will face Barbora Krejcikova in the last-eight after the Czech beat compatriot Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2.

Fifth-seeded Coco Gauff also advanced after Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina withdrew from their last 16 clash due to a lower back injury. Gauff now faces countrywoman Madison Keys in an all-American quarter-final after Keys thrashed former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-1 in just 57 minutes.

with agencies

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