After a year as world No. 1, what are the biggest challenges ahead for Iga Swiatek and what WTA records could she be setting her sights on in the future? Swiatek took over as world No. 1 from Ashleigh Barty on April 4, 2022. She is still top of the rankings heading into the clay season but has spoken about the pressures on her and having a “target” on her back as the best in the world.
It was one year ago today that Iga Swiatek officially replaced Ashleigh Barty as world No. 1. In the 365 days since taking over from the retiring Barty, Swiatek has established herself as a supreme force on the WTA Tour.
From starting with a 1,736-point advantage over world No. 2 Barbora Krejcikova, Swiatek’s lead soared to 6,000 points by the end of 2022 after a dominant 67-win season, the most wins in a single season since Serena Williams in 2013.
the year since becoming world No. 1, Swiatek has won seven titles, including two Grand Slams, reeled off a century-best 34-match win streak, lost only 10 times, and stacked up a formidable 14-3 record against top-10 opponents. She has also won 20 sets by a 6-0 scoreline as world No. 1.
There have been challenges – Swiatek spoke recently of now having a “target” on her back and needing to deal with “more pressure and expectation” – and the gap between Swiatek and the rest of the WTA Tour appears closer now than it has in some time.
With that in mind, we look at all that’s ahead for Swiatek as she enters her second year as women’s world No. 1.
SWIATEK STREAKS CLEAR
When Swiatek officially took over from Barty at the top of the WTA rankings on April 4, 2022 she was the youngest player to make her No.1 debut since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.
Barty praised her “fresh, fearless” energy and said she “thoroughly deserves” to be No. 1. Former world No. 1 Chris Evert said that even if Barty hadn’t retired, Swiatek would still have made it to the top because of her “hunger” and “mental strength”.
Now into her 53rd week atop the rankings, Swiatek is 12th on the all-time WTA standings for time spent as world No. 1. She should soon catch Simona Halep, who spent 64 weeks as world No. 1, and perhaps Wozniacki, who had 71 weeks at the top of the rankings across her career.
Further ahead are Lindsay Davenport (98 weeks), Justine Henin (117 weeks) and Barty (121 weeks). Steffi Graf leads the way with 377 weeks.