Iga Swiatek charged to her first title of the season on Saturday, as the No.7 seed from Poland cruised past No.4 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-2, 6-0 to win the Qatar TotalEnergies Open in Doha.
In an overpowering display of all-court mastery, Swiatek took just over an hour to sweep to victory at the WTA 1000 event and end St. Petersburg champion Kontaveit's nine-match winning streak.
The players speak: "I'm pretty happy that I was composed and I stayed in the same shape I was for the whole tournament, because playing finals is a different feeling," Swiatek said, after her win. "It's always a little bit more stress.
"I knew that Anett is going to play well, because she's shown consistency throughout the whole six months, I would say. I needed to put pressure on her, and I'm pretty happy that I did that well today.
"It's so nice to have these kind of matches where you don't actually have problems with keeping the pace and with staying aggressive, because right now I'm a more aggressive player, and I really love it, because it's giving me a lot of confidence on and off court. It's just making sometimes life on court easier."
Said Kontaveit: "Overall I'm very happy and feel like my game is moving in the right direction. I think the results have reflected that in the last few weeks. Very pleased with that.
"Iga played a really, really good match. She put a lot of pressure on my serves. She was playing a really solid match. I think I was a little overwhelmed, maybe didn't deal with my emotions as well as I would have liked. I mean, Iga was just great today."
Fast facts: Swiatek has now racked up four WTA singles titles in her career, and it is her second WTA 1000 crown. Her previous WTA 1000 title came in Rome last year, where she dispatched Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in the final.
Swiatek famously triumphed at the clay-court Grand Slam event at Roland Garros in 2020 for her first career title, but she now has just as many hard-court titles as clay-court titles in her career, with two apiece.
The 20-year-old Pole continues to dominate in finals once she gets to them. Since her only runner-up finish on tour, at Lugano in 2019, Swiatek has dropped a total of 11 games in the four finals she has won:
Iga Swiatek’s last 4 finals:— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 26, 2022
2020 Roland Garros: 64 61, Kenin
2021 Adelaide: 62 62, Bencic
2021 Rome: 60 60, Pliskova
2022 Doha: 62 60, Kontaveit
Lost a total of 2 games in her 2 WTA 1000 finals.
Kontaveit came into the match having reached more finals and won more matches than anyone on tour since the start of 2021 — this was her ninth final during that stretch, and she has prevailed in 61 matches within that timeframe.
But Swiatek refused to fall into any of Kontaveit's traps on the day, winning a staggering 66 percent of points returning the Kontaveit serve and saving six of the seven break points she faced (six of which came in the first set).
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Swiatek is now 3-2 against Kontaveit, and the Pole has won their last three meetings, including at Roland Garros and the US Open last season. Swiatek has now won three matches in a row against Top 10 opposition this week, improving to 8-7 overall against that cohort.
Command performance: After falling behind an early break to Swiatek, Kontaveit looked to be back in the hunt after she slammed a forehand winner down the line to break back for 2-2. However, that would prove to be her final appearance on the scoreboard.
Swiatek quickly regained her break lead in the following game, then kept using aggressive returns to take control of many points from the outset. Serving for the set at 5-2, Swiatek calmly erased two break points before closing out the one-set lead.
There were almost no problems for Swiatek in the second set, which she raced through in less than half an hour. Kontaveit kept games close in the opening stages of the set, but there was no stopping the Swiatek power game as the Polish player continued her sterling form in finals.