Subscribe to our newsletter

A Sunshine Double for surging Swiatek, who dominates Osaka for title in Miami

Iga Swiatek became the fourth woman in history – and the youngest ever – to claim the Indian Wells – Miami double with an emphatic victory over Naomi Osaka.

Iga Swiatek kissing the trophy, Miami 2022 Iga Swiatek, Miami 2022 (© AI / Reuters / Panoramic)

Iga Swiatek will become the WTA’s No 1 player on Monday, and the 20-year-old Pole made sure she cracked that milestone in style by engineering a stunning run to the title at the Miami Open. Swiatek did not drop a set and blasted past Naomi Osaka in a marquee final on Saturday, 6-4, 6-0, to become the fourth woman to claim the prestigious Sunshine Double, having won Indian Wells and Miami in succession.

Swiatek, who becomes the youngest woman to ever achieve the feat, joins Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka on the illustrious list.

“I’m pretty tired, honestly,” Swiatek said on court after the match. “These weeks were so intense, I didn’t really know if I was going to be able to keep up with the streak that I have – it’s amazing for me that I could show mental toughness because my whole life I thought I can do more, and sometimes I was losing and I didn’t even know why. Right now, this season, I feel like everything clicked.”

A dominant performance in the final – yet again

Swiatek entered her second career matchup with Osaka as the heavy favorite, having won her last 16 matches, and she did not disappoint on Saturday as she overcame an early challenge from Osaka and sprinted to the finish, never facing a break point in the 79-minute affair.

She improves to 6-1 lifetime in finals, winning her last six in succession without dropping a single set, dropping just 20 games in those six finals. Swiatek has now won 13 of her last 14 finals across all levels.

Commentating for Tennis Channel, 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova summed it up well:

“It’s as good as it gets,” the Hall of Famer said. “She was firing on all cylinders.”

Swiatek broke serve four times on 10 opportunities, and dropped only 13 points on serve against Osaka. She gradually took over the cadence of the contest and chugged to the finish – Swiatek dropped just eight points in the second set.

“I think I was approaching her second serves pretty well, and I wanted to pressure her,” Swiatek, who won 20 of 30 second serve points, said. “Honestly, I feel like even though I played so many matches, physically I can run to every ball. … I didn’t really care if the rallies were short or long, I was running for everything and I gave my all.”

Swiatek did not drop a set

The Pole won all 12 sets she played in Miami and only dropped more than four games only once at Miami (to Jessica Pegula in the semifinals). She dropped a total of 26 games in the tournament, the fewest dropped en route to the title since Martina Hingis in 2000.

Davenport – Swiatek was so clutch

After the match three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport couldn’t hold back her praise for the 20-year-old.

“She just did a remarkable job of handling the occasion,” former world No 1 Lindsay Davenport said after the final on television. “I keep waiting for the 20-year-old to maybe get nervous, maybe get tired physically or emotionally, but she came out of the gates aggressive – she was dictating play. At the end of the first set she was averaging seven MPH faster [than Osaka] on the forehand wing, so really the biggest shot on the court was her forehand.

“She was so clutch on this entire swing, these last six weeks, but to see her keep getting better and better in these matches, I think that was the most impressive thing for me.”

Your comments

Your email address will not be published.