FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)Top-ranked Iga Swiatek took control with an eight-point run that launched a match-ending stretch in which she grabbed nine of 11 games for a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Caroline Garcia in round-robin action at the WTA Finals on Thursday night.
Swiatek improved to 2-0 this week at the season-closing tournament for the top eight women in tennis. She’s won all four sets she’s played so far while dropping a total of just 10 games.
By adding a victory over No. 6 Garcia to one against No. 8 Daria Kasatkina on Tuesday, Swiatek improved her 2022 record against opponents ranked in the top 10 to 14-1 – and those 14 wins were all in a row, the longest such single-season unbeaten streak on tour in 15 years.
The other singles group match scheduled for Thursday night at Dickies Arena was Kasatkina against No. 4 Coco Gauff.
Garcia is the only entrant in the eight-player field who managed to defeat Swiatek this year – at the Poland Open in July, when Garcia was ranked just 45th – and she broke early in this one to lead 2-1.
But Swiatek broke right back, then began asserting herself from 3-all, racing through the end of that set and going ahead by a break at 2-0 in the second.
Swiatek’s topspin-heavy forehand is probably her most dangerous shot, and Garcia seemed to try to hit to the other side whenever possible. But Swiatek’s backhand was up to the task, producing passing shots when Garcia went to the net or closing lengthier baseline exchanges with winners, and her serve grew stronger as the match wore on, including finishing it with a 108 mph ace.
This was Swiatek’s tour-leading 66th match win of the year and she leads with eight titles, including at the French Open and U.S. Open to raise her career count to three major championships.
The 21-year-old from Poland is pursuing her first WTA Finals trophy in her second appearance; she was eliminated in round-robin play in 2021.
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