Swiatek ends 2021 campaign on a high note, defeating Badosa at Guadalajara
Iga Swiatek finished her maiden WTA Finals with a satisfying win over group winner Paula Badosa.
- What happened: Iga Swiatek closed her WTA Finals debut with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Paula Badosa.
- Why it matters: The youngest player in this year’s WTA Finals field gets her first victory in Guadalajara.
- You will also learn: More about Swiatek’s assessment of her first WTA Finals appearance.
Iga Swiatek picked up her first top 10 win on a hard court, defeating Paula Badosa in straight sets to earn her first WTA Finals victory on Monday in Guadalajara, 7-5, 6-4. The 20-year-old Pole had already been eliminated from semi-final contention with her loss to Aryna Sabalenka on Saturday night, but the win enabled Swiatek to head into the off-season with some positive energy.
As for Badosa, the Spaniard shouldn’t be bothered too much by her defeat. She still finishes at the top of the Chichén Itzá Group, and will face Garbine Muguruza in a heavily anticipated all-Spanish semi-final on Tuesday in Mexico.
Badosa excited for the Muguruza challenge – “She’s a player that I always admired”
The first meeting between the Badosa and Muguruza will be one of the most important matches of the season for both. Muguruza has made no secret about the joy she feels when playing in Mexico and hopes to continue her ride in Guadalajara. Badosa, in the midst of a breakout season, has spoken often this week of the positive influence Muguruza has had on her.
“I think it’s amazing to have two Spanish players,” she said. “Of course, Garbine, it’s her fifth time or sixth time playing WTA Finals (fifth, including her doubles appearance in 2014). For me was already a dream to be here, so you can imagine how I feel to play semifinals and against her. As I said at the beginning of the tournament, she’s a player I always admired because I think she’s amazing, she inspired a lot of Spanish people. I hope with the semi-finals, with my year, I hope next years I can do the same as she did with me.
“For sure it’s going to be a very tough match. For me was a little bit tough today to play because I was little bit thinking about that match. Of course, I didn’t want to get too tired, to be honest, because I know I’m going to have a battle tomorrow.”
Swiatek happy to show best tennis in final match of 2021
Swiatek had her difficulties dealing with the conditions in Guadalajara and the fact that she’s the youngest, most inexperienced player in the field, but the Pole overcame those hurdles on Monday and played a solid match against a talented opponent.
“I think it was a really solid match from me. I’m pretty happy that I had a chance to show my tennis finally, overcome all these factors around, just play the game,” she said. “I really enjoyed myself today on court, which is really important for me.”
Swiatek – “I learned a lot about myself”
Swiatek completes a very solid season that includes two titles, a trip to the second week at all four majors and a maiden top 10 year-end finish in the WTA rankings. And the Pole is learning as she goes…
“I learned a lot about myself. It’s going to be really important for me,” Swiatek told reporters after the match. “I’m just going to maybe – it doesn’t really matter if it’s the Finals or another tournament, my goal for next season is going to be more relaxed on court, kind of like trust myself with my game, not let the stress bother me so much, like accept it. I’m going to try to accept it a little bit more.”
This time next year? More settled and confident
Swiatek says she wants to a bit more efficient going forward, another allusion to dialing down the stress she feels with regard to her tennis and the results she achieves.
She was asked what her biggest lesson of 2021 was and mentioned her desire to consume less energy.
“There is so much I learned,” she said. “I mean, for sure I’m just going to talk about what I want to change maybe. I want me being on tour being, like, less energy-consuming so I can be more efficient, also have the power to be on the highest level for, I don’t know, few years. I’m going to try to, like, change my attitude a little bit.”
When asked where she sees herself this time next year Swiatek told reporters that she wants to settle in and trust herself more
“I would love to be as a player more, like, settled in everything, not going from being super confident to, ‘Hey, I’m new here, I don’t really know what to do.’ Just trust myself a little bit more. I would love myself to be more efficient and more chilled out, just remember that tennis is not everything, kind of have more distance to everything.”