Warsaw, Poland – Poland’s tennis prodigy Iga Świątek is set to become world number one, the first Polish player to ascend to the top of women’s tennis.
“I never really imagined that moment because, truth to be told, I was working day-by-day and playing tennis well,” she reacted.
“But I never had the strong belief that it can actually happen. So it’s even more surreal for me”.
The 20-year-old Polish talent shot to number two in the world earlier this month after winning the Indian Wells title.
Her latest win against Viktorija Golubic in the second round of the Miami Open means that she will automatically become world’s number one after the end of the tournament, regardless of its outcome, and when the new ranking is published on April 4.
She replaces 25-year-old Australian player Ashleigh Barty, who took the world of tennis by surprise after announcing her retirement from the sport. She had topped the ranking since November 2019.
“She thoroughly deserves it,” three-time Grand Slam winner Barty said regarding Iga Świątek’s rise to the top. “I hope she can take it and still be her, do it her own way, and really chase what she’s after in her career and her dreams.”
Born in Warsaw in 2001, Świątek made a dashing entrance on the world stage with her 2020 French Open win, becoming the first player from Poland to win a Grand Slam singles title.
Ranked number nine at the end of last year, she was already the youngest player in the WTA top 10 ranking.
She now becomes the 28th woman to hold the No. 1 ranking since the launch of the computerized system in 1975, and the first Polish player ever to do so.
Świątek’s achievement highlights the dominance of Central and Eastern Europe’s talents in today’s women tennis, with Barbora Krejčíková (No.4) and Karolína Plíšková (No.8) from the Czech Republic, as well as Anett Kontaveit (No.7) from Estonia also present in the WTA top 10 singles ranking.