Iga Swiatek exposes Ash Barty truth in historic tennis streak

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Iga Swiatek, pictured here after winning the Italian Open.
Iga Swiatek has dispelled the theory she's not the true World No.1. Image: Getty

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.

Iga Swiatek, pictured here after winning the Italian Open title.
Iga Swiatek celebrates after winning the Italian Open title. Image: Getty

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.

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.

Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur, pictured here after the Italian Open final.
Iga Swiatek was too good for Ons Jabeur in the Italian Open final. (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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."

with agencies

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