Iga Świątek’s competition in the WTA Finals tournament in Cancun, Mexico, started with a strong bang. In the match between the winners of this year’s Roland Garros and Wimbledon, the champion from the Paris courts came out on top. The Pole defeated Marketa Vondrousova.
A lot was written and talked about the organization, or rather problems with it, before the start of the WTA Finals in Cancun. Just a few hours before the start of the match between Iga Świątek and Marketa Vondrousova, it was not even certain whether the match would take place. There was a downpour over the Mexican city, which could have thwarted the organizers’ plans. Finally, with humidity at 70 percent, both ladies went onto the court at 5 p.m. local time, i.e. 11 p.m., looking at their Polish watches.
Iga Świątek reversed the fate of the first set in Cancun
It was known that there would be plenty of emotions in the match between the champions of this year’s Roland Garros (Świątek) and Wimbledon (Vondrousova). The Czech opened the match better and after just over half an hour of play she was leading 5-2 with two breaks by her opponent. Świątek clearly wanted too much, rushing in several situations completely unnecessarily. The backhand in particular did not work on the Polish side, but the serve was not an ally of the second-placed player in the WTA rankings.
Vondrousova played consistently, not taking the initiative, but benefiting from her opponent’s mistakes without making them herself. However, the Pole managed to overcome her impotence. After a solid return to the feet of the Czech, Świątek broke her opponent for the first time (3:5). A moment later, the Pole evened the competition, ending the action at 5:5 with a much-needed backhand down the line. What’s worse, for Vondrousova, the mentioned 5:2 became 5:6 from the Czech’s perspective. Ultimately, the match was decided by tie-break.
In the sixteenth such case this season, Świątek’s side was much more calm. The Polish woman’s service ace was telling, her first in the match, at 6:3 – after which the Czech “responded” with a double fault, closing the set in favor of her opponent.
Marketa Vondrousova defeated by a Pole
During the break between games, Świątek took advantage of the break to visit the locker room and change her clothes, because her outfit was all wet after the exhausting opening set, which lasted over an hour. The Pole probably did not expect that after Vondrousova’s return she would be defeated relatively quickly, twice.
Świątek was leading 3-0 after 20 minutes and it was clear that her opponent was still thinking about the previous game. It was apparently difficult for the Czech to explain logically why she lost the set, leading 5-2 and having two breaks on her side.
However, the Pole did not pay attention to Vondrousova’s problems and consistently scored points for her opponent. In her debut at a WTA Finals event, the Wimbledon champion failed to extend the match to the third set (Elena Rybakina is also making her debut this year). The Pole drew conclusions from the first seven games of the match and did not give up on the sixth racket in the world ranking. And it ended as best as it could for Świątek, with a spectacular 6-0.
Who will Iga Świątek’s next matches be with in the WTA Finals?
Apart from Vondrousova, in the group to which the Polish woman joined – called Chetumal – the Raszyn native also has among her opponents the American Coco Gauff and the Tunisian Ons Jabeur. The former is seeded third, the Wimbledon finalist is the tournament’s sixth seed. There is no doubt that in both cases difficult tasks await the Pole.
It is worth adding that in the second WTA Finals group – called Bacalar – the following players compete: ranking leader Aryna Sabalenka, American Jessica Pegula, Kazakh Jelena Rybakina and Greek Maria Sakkari. The latter got into the tournament due to the injury of the Czech Karolina Muchova, with whom Świątek fought in the final of Roland Garros 2023.