Iga Swiatek celebrates with the trophy on the podium after defeating Jessica Pegula in the final match of the Qatar Open at the Khalifa International Tennis complex in Doha on Saturday. AFP
World number one Iga Swiatek won her second successive Qatar Open title on Saturday, sweeping past Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-0 in the final. It was the Pole’s first title of 2023 and 12th of her career.
The reigning French and US Open champion, Swiatek dropped just five games all week on her way to the Doha title.
Swiatek completed victory over world number four Pegula in just 69 minutes to take her career head-to-head over the American to 5-2.
Jessica Pegula (C-L) andIga Swiatek pose on the podium with their trophies. AFP
Doha remains a special place for Swiatek — last year her title triumph in the Qatari capital sparked a 37-match winning streak which culminated in her second Grand Slam title at the French Open.
“I’m really happy that I could kind of find more balance, comparing to how I felt at the beginning of the season,” Swiatek said, after her win.
“I think this tournament is going to give me a lot of confidence, but still, I want to take everything step by step. I’m just really happy that I could win this match today.”
Swiatek next makes the short journey to the UAE for the Dubai WTA tournament which gets underway on Sunday.
Iga Swiatek reacts during the final match against Pegula (not pictured) in Doha. AFP
If nothing else, she’ll be hoping the playing conditions are easier than in Doha where high winds presented challenges all week.
“Yesterday it kind of hit me that even though it’s windy, I can use the wind properly,” said the 21-year-old.
“I kind of use my intuition to sometimes imagine that I should play shorter, or on the other hand, play with more topspin so the wind is going to kind of take this ball even further.
“So today I just kind of continued that, but I didn’t really want to overanalyze that, and I just kind of played how my intuition told me.”