WTA

Swiatek 'wanted to go all in' to secure eighth 2022 title in San Diego

By Sports Desk October 17, 2022

Iga Swiatek says she "wanted to go all in" to ensure she won her eighth WTA Tour title of 2022 with a 6-3 3-6 6-0 victory over Donna Vekic in the San Diego Open final on Sunday.

Swiatek became the fifth player since 2000 to win eight or more WTA-level titles in a single season after Martina Hingis, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin.

She did not have it all her own way against Vekic, with the Croatian world number 47 battling back from losing the opener to take the second set and level the match.

But Swiatek showed her class in the decisive third set, breaking Vekic three times to romp to the title.

The world number one says she had to give it everything to ensure victory over Vekic in a tough match, saying at her on-court presentation: "It was a really tight match and pretty long.

"We felt the intensity for sure. At the end I wanted to be the one who played the last ball in. I wanted to go all in.

"Knowing how well she can serve, I just wanted to be more loosened up on my return games - not think too much, use my intuition and fight for every ball."

With her round-of-16 win over Zheng Qinwen, Swiatek became the first player to win 61 matches in a single season since Caroline Wozniacki in 2017.

Frighteningly for her opponents, the 21-year-old spoke after that win of her belief that she was still a few years away from her prime.

"I wasn't expecting to have this kind of season this year," Swiatek told reporters. 

"I thought, maybe, I'm going to be at my peak when I'm 24, 25, and have that experience, maybe results like that are going to come."

Swiatek's 64 wins in 2022 is the most for any woman since Serena Williams' 78 in 2013, while the Pole has lost just one match in the United States this year.

Swiatek intends to take full advantage of San Diego's sun and sand as she celebrates another title, making it 11 wins and just two defeats in finals.

"I am speechless," the 21-year-old said in a video on Twitter. "I'm so proud of me and the team that we actually won this tournament.

"It wasn't easy so I'm happy that I believe in myself and I fought to the last point.

"I love San Diego, I'm going to enjoy the beach tomorrow!"

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