Super Swiatek: The Heavy Favourite for the French Open 

Women’s tennis is crying out for a dominant force. Not since the successes of the Williams sisters has the sport had a name that consistently wins Grand Slam titles. Unlike the men’s game, heavily overwhelmed by the ‘Big Three’, it’s difficult to predict who will win the women’s singles title each time a major tournament rolls around.

The clay-court season is already underway, and it won’t be long until Roland-Garros plays host to the French Open – the second Grand Slam of the year. However, ahead of the 2022 edition of the tournament, there’s one name that dominates the bet exchange – 2020 winner and current World Number 1, Iga Świątek.

This year has already been an incredible one for the Pole, who reached the semi-final of the Australian Open back in January, and has gone on to win four consecutive titles, including the ‘Sunshine Double’ (Indian Wells and Miami Open) – as well as climb the WTA rankings to claim top spot.

Her winning run of form began in February, in the Qatar Total Open. Świątek was seeded seventh but beat the number one seed, Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets in the quarter-finals. She went on to defeat Anett Kontaveit in the final, without losing a game in the second set – and claimed her second WTA 1000 championship.

A third-ever WTA 1000 final beckoned at Indian Wells, with Świątek the third seed. En route to facing Maria Sakkari, she had beaten both Madison Keys and Simona Halep in straight sets – and beat the Greek to secure back-to-back Masters titles, and climb to a career-high of second in the world rankings. In winning, she became the first Polish women’s singles player to claim the title – and also extended her season tally to 20 wins.

Reflecting on her performance, she said:

Winning after playing so well in Doha is giving me a lot of confidence and kind of belief that I can do it. … I wouldn’t think of myself as someone who’s ready to play two tournaments in a row and win it.

And after the retirement of Ashleigh Barty – who had been World Number 1 at the time – Świątek made history, becoming the first Polish player to hold the top spot in the singles rankings. While it was announced after her second-round victory over Viktorija Golubic, it wasn’t made official until April 4th.  

The Pole then advanced to the final of the Miami Open, without dropping a set. The straight-sets victory in the final extended Świątek’s record to 17 wins as well as her third consecutive title – and she made history by becoming the first woman ever to win the first three WTA 1000 events of the year.

Earlier this month, the 20-year-old participated in the Stuttgart Open, and the World Number 1 was the top seed. She defeated Eva Lys, Emma Raducanu and Liudmila Samsonova en route to her fourth final of the year. And not content with three successive WTA 1000 titles, she made it four – winning once again in straight sets. 

While her run of 28 sets without defeat ended, Świątek is in exceptional form and will look to further cement her name as a dominant force in women’s tennis. Victory in the second Slam of the year will certainly strengthen this.

Rachel Bartee

Rachel Bartee is a blogger and freelance writer dreaming of a tour round the world to write a story of her greatest life adventure. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and studies Interpersonal Relationships.