'Unreal' Iga Swiatek stuns tennis world in 'ridiculous' 98-year first

The World No.1 recorded a staggering feat on her way to a defence of her Qatar Open title.

Pictured here, Iga Swiatek speaks after winning the Qatar Open title in 2023.
Iga Swiatek dropped just five games all tournament on her way to a second consecutive Qatar Open title. Pic: WTA/Getty

Iga Swiatek is being celebrated across the tennis world after achieving a stunning 98-year first in her Qatar Open title defence in Doha. The World No.1 avenged her early season defeat to Jessica Pegula in Melbourne after winning back-to-back trophies at the Qatar Open in style.

The Pole completed one of the most dominant tournaments in recent memory after thrashing Pegula 6-3, 6-0 in the Qatar final. Swiatek had earlier booked her place in the Doha decider with consecutive 6-0, 6-1 victories over first Danielle Collins, and then Veronika Kudermetova, with a walkover against Belinda Bencic sandwiched between the two matches.

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It means the three-time major winner - who was left in tears after a heavy defeat to Pegula in Sydney at the beginning of the year - lost just five games all tournament on her way to a successful title defence in Qatar. The extraordinary feat has not been seen for 98 years, when Suzanne Lenglen became the last woman to lose just five games on her way to winning the 1925 Wimbledon title.

Aside from her extraordinary slice of history, Swiatek also showed her class with a beautiful gesture and message for Ukraine, amid the ongoing war with Russia. Playing with a ribbon in the colours of Ukraine on her cap, the 21-year-old endeared herself to the tennis world by paying tribute to the war-ravaged country in a classy victory speech.

"This was the first tournament where I had a chance to make a speech when the war started in Ukraine," she said. "I feel like we all have pretty short memories, but we should all support Ukrainians with everything they're coping with every day.

"It's pretty disappointing the situation is not changing, but hopefully they will stay strong." Fans were quick to praise Swiatek for her ongoing support towards Ukraine, as well as her incredible march to the title in Doha.

Iga Swiatek reigns supreme in Doha once more

The 21-year-old now has 12 career titles and is off the mark in 2023, extending her head-to-head dominance to 5-2 over world No.4 Pegula. It was a far cry from her sad breakdown against the same opponent in January and a fourth round exit at the Australian Open, to eventual finalist Elena Rybakina.

"I don't care how many games are won or lost. I just feel like I really found my rhythm here, and after a tough beginning of the season I could stay focused from the beginning to the end of the matches, and I'm pretty happy with my performance," Swiatek added. "I hope playing well here is going to be a routine."

Seen here, Iga Swiatek celebrating with the trophy after defeating Jessica Pegula in the final of the Qatar Open.
Iga Swiatek celebrates with the trophy after defeating Jessica Pegula in the final of the Qatar Open. Pic: Getty

Swiatek broke Pegula for 2-0 and 4-2 but both times immediately lost her own serve. However, the American couldn't hold again and the Pole served out to love to take the first set.

The second set was completely one-way traffic, as Swiatek swept aside the American, whom she broke six times in the final. Doha was also Swiatek's first title last year, and the start of a 37-match winning streak which included her second grand slam title at the French Open.

with agencies

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