Iga Swiatek's 100 weeks as world No 1: The streak, the slams, the bagels (2024)

143 matches.

120 wins.

3 Grand Slams.

39 bagels.

100 weeks as world No 1 — and counting.

Iga Swiatek, still just 22, is only the ninth player to reach the century since computerized rankings were introduced in 1975. In two stints, one of 75 weeks and one of 25 weeks, she has cemented her position as the dominant force in women’s tennis, having risen up the field at a remarkable clip since her full WTA Tour debut on December 31, 2018, in Auckland.

With the French Open starting next month — an event Swiatek has won in three of the last four years — she will be confident of extending her lead at the summit of the women’s game.

Here, The Athleticbreaks down the key moments in Swiatek’s time at the top and looks at whether anyone can end her reign any time soon.

Swiatek’s 100 weeks as world No 1 began in April 2022 after winning the Miami Open. The woman she replaced, Ashleigh Barty, had announced her retirement a couple of weeks earlier, having won the Australian Open that January. At the time, she held a 2000+ point lead over Swiatek in the rankings. It wasn’t that Swiatek hadn’t earned her place as the No 1, having won the French Open in 2020 as the unseeded world No 54, but Barty’s exit made it an unusual way to ascend to the top of the sport.

Advertisem*nt

That said, if there were any doubts about Swiatek’s status as the world’s best player, she obliterated them.

Swiatek assumed the ranking 17 wins into what would become the defining symbol of her remarkable dominance on the tour. After a defeat to Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko in Dubai, in February 2022, Swiatek went on a stunning winning streak of 37 matches, which remains the longest by a WTA player in the 21st century.

The sequence incorporated titles in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome, and her second French Open. The run secured her position as the player to beat through summer, but it was still a big moment when Swiatek won the US Open in September 2022, for her first Grand Slam away from her favoured clay.

On top of the coveted outdoor hard-court ‘Sunshine Double’ of Indian Wells and Miami, it showed her durability across surfaces, though grass remained (and remains) trickier, with a defeat to France’s Alize Cornet at Wimbledon that year marking the end of her incredible run.

During the streak, Swiatek was taken to three sets just seven times, winning 16 sets 6-0 and 12 sets 6-1. Of her 143 matches as world No 1, she has bagelled an opponent in 36 of them — just over a quarter — and has won 39 sets 6-0.

Despite not winning the 2022 WTA Finals that November, Swiatek ended the year as the world No 1 with a win-loss ratio of 67-9. She was so dominant that she recorded the second-highest ranking points total for a single year in WTA history, second only to Serena Williams’ tally in 2013.

Her first stint ended at the 2023 US Open, with a fourth-round defeat to her nemesis Ostapenko (against whom she has a 0-4 head-to-head record). It was a big disappointment, but at 75 weeks, Swiatek had recorded the third-longest streak for a first-time world No 1 in the Open Era.

Swiatek didn’t take long to rebound and reclaim the top spot from Aryna Sabalenka, doing so by winning the WTA Finals in November 2023 in typically emphatic fashion. Swiatek defeated Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-0 in the final, having thrashed the then world No 1 Sabalenka 6-3, 6-2 in the semis. In total, Swiatek dropped 20 games in the whole tournament (four on average per match), a record since the finals introduced the round-robin format 20 years earlier.

Advertisem*nt

Swiatek has remained the world No 1 since, despite exiting January’s Australian Open in the third round, sweeping aside Maria Sakkari to win Indian Wells. She currently has a very healthy lead over the No 2 Sabalenka, with a points gap of almost 3,000 points. The French Open will be key in this regard, with Swiatek defending the 2,000 points she won in claiming her third Roland Garros title last year (Sabalenka was a semi-finalist). Coco Gauff, the world No 3, is about 600 points behind Sabalenka and as a quarter-finalist at last year’s French Open, has fewer points to defend at an event where she is a former runner-up.

Iga Swiatek's 100 weeks as world No 1: The streak, the slams, the bagels (1)

Swiatek has amassed a sizeable lead at the top of the rankings (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

GO DEEPERSwiatek is on top of the world once more - now she means to stay there

For now, Swiatek remains absolutely the player to beat.

“Onto the next one” was the hashtag Swiatek used when posting on social media on Monday about her 100 weeks at world No 1. That’s always been her attitude and so beyond her bigger targets, Swiatek’s immediate focus is the Madrid Open, which began this week.

Who would bet against it being the start of another 100 weeks at the top? She’s got some big names to catch, after all.

(Top photo: Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Iga Swiatek's 100 weeks as world No 1: The streak, the slams, the bagels (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tish Haag

Last Updated:

Views: 6723

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tish Haag

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 30256 Tara Expressway, Kutchburgh, VT 92892-0078

Phone: +4215847628708

Job: Internal Consulting Engineer

Hobby: Roller skating, Roller skating, Kayaking, Flying, Graffiti, Ghost hunting, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Tish Haag, I am a excited, delightful, curious, beautiful, agreeable, enchanting, fancy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.