Teenage tennis phenom takes another title from Ash Barty

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Iga Swiatek and Ash Barty (L) are pictured here giving a fist pump during a match.
Iga Swiatek has taken another title that belonged to Ash Barty after winning the Adelaide International. Pic: Getty

Polish teen superstar Iga Swiatek has emulated another impressive feat from Australia's World No.1 Ash Barty, to cement her reputation as one of the brightest young stars in tennis.

The 19-year-old powered her way to yet another title after dismantling Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-2 in Saturday night's Adelaide International final.

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Swiatek's victory saw the Pole snatch another title from Barty, who suffered another shock collapse before going down to Danielle Collins earlier in the Adelaide tournament.

Barty led in both sets before succumbing to the American 6-3 6-4, in what was a similar pattern to her Australian Open upset against Karolina Muchova, where Barty who won the first set and led 2-1 in the second before crashing out in three sets.

There were no such concerns for Swiatek in Adelaide, however, as the 19-year-old won the latest in what promises to be a trophy-laden career for the Polish star.

Swiatek also took another of Barty's titles when she won her breakthrough grand slam at the 2020 French Open.

Now, as she celebrates a place in the world's top 15 for the first time, many have been left wondering just how long it could be before Swiatek follows another lead set by Barty - by eventually becoming a world No.1.

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She still has a long way to go, naturally, but she is the youngest of all the top-15 players and the manner in which she took the Adelaide crown without dropping a set and for the loss of just 22 games demonstrated her boundless potential.

In the final, she took apart Bencic, a quality player, with 22 winners while making only six unforced errors and seeming almost invulnerable on her first serve, winning 20 of 22 points.

Victory fills Swiatek with 'more confidence'

"Not only in my head but tennis-wise, I feel like sometimes I have weeks when everything clicks," Swiatek said as she pondered another searing run, just like her triumph at Roland Garros last October where, again, nobody could take a set off her.

"It's good for me because I can see that I can play good tennis for the whole week.

"It wasn't just one time like the French Open. This gives me more confidence that I'm more developed as a player and I can play good more often.

Pictured here, Iga Swiatek poses with the Adelaide International trophy.
Iga Swiatek clinched the Adelaide International title with a straight sets win over Belinda Bencic. Pic: Getty

Shrewd tournament scheduling will also come into the equation with Swiatek's team wanting to ensure the youngster doesn't put her body through too much too soon.

To that end, she has joined a growing list of top players in pulling out of next week's Qatar Open, with the Pole saying that she wants to ensure she avoids injury after her Adelaide heroics.

She follows Barty, who withdrew on Wednesday from the March 1-6 event in Doha while citing a left leg injury, world No.3 Simona Halep and 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu in skipping the event.

"We decided... that we're going to withdraw from Doha because of some intense weeks here (in Australia)," Swiatek, who also played a warm-up in Melbourne before the Australian Open, said.

"I don't want to have injury or anything. I want my body to rest properly."

She is scheduled to resume her assault on the rankings at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next month.

with AAP

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