Friday, December 8, 2023

Swiatek-Sabalenka, the best possible final reflects the “consistency” of the women’s circuit

Much has been said in the last decade about the absence of consolidated references in the women’s tennis circuit. With the gradual decline of Serena Williams, the carousel of winners and numbers one became the usual day-to-day tonic in tournaments. While Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer ATP tournaments were tyrannized, the WTA longed for stable figures to be able to promote themselves and compete for a cake that was taking men’s tennis in full.

it seemed Asleigh Barty until he announced his surprising retirement at just 25 years old and the day after winning the 2022 Australian Open. But then it appeared Iga Swiatek To take command, and not let go. Three greats already accumulate the Polish (Roland Garros 2021 and 2022 and US Open 2022) at 21 years old and a unbroken reign since Barty’s withdrawal that threatens to prolong for a long time, although this year she has found a tall opponent in the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

Number two since last January, when she won the Australian Open, the Belarusian, who turned 25 this Friday, has emerged as Swiatek’s great rival, laying the foundations of a rivalry that, given the youth of both, could continue in time.

the best ending possible

It is not so often that the numbers one and two in the ranking meet in a final. In fact, it has not been seen since in 2018 the Danish Caroline Wozniacki (2) defeated Romanian in the final of the Australian Open Simone Halep (1). And on the ground it hadn’t happened since the 2013 Roland Garros final, when the American Serena Williams (1) prevailed over the Russian Maria Sharapova (2).

Now, in Madrid, both will live the second chapter in just two weeks, after the duel in Stuttgart that the Pole took 6-3 and 6-4. The best possible match in the current women’s circuit will be seen this Saturday (6:30 p.m.; TDP) in the final of the tournament. “I want revenge”warned number two, who already knows what it is to win on this stage in 2021. So, he did it by beating Barty, the leader of the world rankings, in the final. A warning for Swiatek, who dominates 5-2 in the face-to-face.

Sabalenka and Swiatek, after the final in Stuttgart.

“More emotions”

“There are people who say that men’s tennis is more beautiful and that they can do more because they are physically and biologically stronger. There were also people years ago who said that the WTA was not consistent and that we were a shame, that we should play better. But now I think we are even more consistent than men. Watching women’s tennis provokes the same emotions, and sometimes even more emotions, because we are women and we are a little more emotional.”, the Warsaw tennis player defended upon her arrival in Madrid, who not only exercises as number one on the court. Outside, and despite her youth, she already plays spokesperson for landmark claims, such as equal pay at all tournaments.

“Tennis is one of the sports that talks the most about equality and I actually think it’s better than most sports in that regard, but still there is a lot we can work on to charge the same for a tournament of the same category. The Grand Slams are already even, that’s fine, and now it would be good if the WTA focused on that,” claimed Swiatek, who aspires to win what would be her sixth WTA 1000, the fifth different one.


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