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Iga Swiatek has well-and-truly put to bed any lingering thoughts that she's not the true World No.1 due to Ash Barty's retirement.
Swiatek was elevated to the top ranking when Barty shocked the tennis world and announced her immediate retirement at age 25.
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With Barty out of the picture, Swiatek became the new World No.1 by default because she was closest to Barty in the standings at World No.2.
That meant fans were initially unconvinced that Swiatek was a worthy No.1 and questioned her credentials to be the best player in women's tennis.
But the 20-year-old Polish star has completely destroyed those thoughts in the weeks after Barty's retirement bombshell.
All she has done since Barty called it quits is win 28-consecutive matches and five WTA tournaments in a row to separate herself from the rest of the field.
If anyone is still questioning whether Swiatek is the true No.1, all they need to do is look at her historic winning streak.
The Pole has won consecutive tournaments in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome to stamp herself as the overwhelming favourite heading into the French Open.
She won her maiden grand slam title on the clay at Roland Garros in 2020 as the World No.54.
The 20-year-old has won every WTA 1000 event she's played so far this year.
Her 28-match winning streak is one more than the second-longest of Serena Williams' career, and the longest by anyone since Serena won 34-straight from 2012 to 2013.
The all-time longest WTA winning streak belongs to Martina Navratilova, who had a run of 74 in 1984.
Even if Barty was still playing, there is a high chance she would have surrendered the No.1 spot to Swiatek by now.
Djokovic and Swiatek are going to take some stopping in Paris.
Alcaraz, Nadal and Barty look the only ones capable.
Nadal is injured. Barty retired.
— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) May 15, 2022
Awesome stats for Swiatek but let's not get carried away. She also lost her past two & only two matches in straight sets to retired world No.1 @ashbarty including in January. No Serena, Barty, Andreescu (still on the comeback) etc, she needs a rival to see how good she really is. https://t.co/ja9FJl5QsL
— Darren WaltonAAP (@DarrenWalton369) May 16, 2022
Bad take. Iga in 2 on clay. Cope.
— N (@0xNathanx0) May 13, 2022
Absolutely amazing achievements. Congratulations to A Barty for turning Iga Swiatek into an unbeatable force. Nice one.
— Sure Gurung (@GurungSure) May 15, 2022
Already a special player. I can't remember the last time a woman was such a clear favourite for a major. Probably not since Serena. She feels a stronger favourite than Osaka and Barty have been recently.
— JayZo (@JamieMannequin) May 15, 2022
It is simply unfair, and totally misheaded, to account for Iga Swiatek’s rise to prominence with Barty’s retirement. Iga deserves what she is at now with or without Barty resigning.#Swiatek #RolandGarros
— Zizou Mariner (@zoumarin) May 17, 2022
When Barty announced retirement, there was a real sense of a potential vacuum at the top of women's tennis. Swiątek has banished that with consistency and excellence, and suddenly people are talking like it was a no-brainer and she's a flat-track bully. Success causes amnesia.
— Solace Chukwu (@TheOddSolace) May 14, 2022
Women’s tennis has not taken long to find it’s post-Barty narrative. Amazing run for Iga Swiatek. Hard to see who stops her in Paris. https://t.co/4Kf2moenxR
— Neil McMahon (@NeilMcMahon) May 16, 2022
Honestly, it’s not a hot streak. Iga Swiatek is just that good.
Amazing that we had Ash Barty start the year as the unequivocal No. 1, and once she retired Swiatek just picked up where she left off.
— Jeff Donaldson (@jdd_tennis) May 14, 2022
It's annoying when people are talking about Barty. In my opinion she deserves for best words. Not every player could bear the No 1. And I guess she is doing great!
— Mariusz Klimczak (@MariuszekKlim) May 15, 2022
Ons Jabeur says Iga Swiatek is No.1 for a reason
Swiatek collapsed to the clay and broke down in tears on Sunday after beating Ons Jabeur 6-2 6-2 in the Italian Open final.
"I just felt huge relief...I was just really happy that I could cope with all the pressure and expectations so well," she admitted.
"I have emotional reactions, but this one was probably the most emotional after winning the title.
"I mean, why not? It's a week of tension and stress. Finally letting go (after that), for me that's okay."
Swiatek outmanoeuvred Jabeur to snap the Tunisian's 11-match winning streak, which began with her title run in Madrid.
Their head-to-head record is now 2-2 after Swiatek lost both of their meetings in 2021 at Wimbledon and Cincinnati.
In the pair's first meeting on clay, Swiatek was barely troubled by the World No.7 in the opening stages of the match and comfortably held her serve to race into a commanding 3-0 lead.
Jabeur tested her 20-year-old opponent at 4-2 but Swiatek dug herself out of a 0-30 hole to hold from deuce and take the game before wrapping up the set and eventually the match.
"Iga, mentally she was really good. She was always aggressive," Jabeur said.
"No matter what the score is, always going forward, putting pressure on the other player. That I think is very important.
"Iga is the No.1 for a reason. She's really the leader here on tour.
"I personally have a lot to learn from her. Hopefully we'll have another match soon."
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