World No.1 Iga Swiatek enjoyed a happy homecoming at the BNP Paribas Poland Open, defeating Magdalena Frech 6-1, 6-2 in the first round.
Playing her first tournament since her historic 37-match win streak come to an end in the third round of Wimbledon, Swiatek dominated her compatriot to return to her winning ways.
"For sure playing in your hometown with all that crowd is pretty extraordinary," Swiatek said. "I didn't get a chance to play many tournaments in Poland so for sure I needed extra focus and determination to come here and stay in the zone and not let my head think about other stuff."
"I'm happy that I was solid today because Magda is not an easy opponent. From the beginning I wanted to put pressure on her and I did that pretty well. I'm pretty sure with our styles the result may be different on different surfaces, for example, grass. But here I didn't have a problem coming back with my topspins."
The victory brings Swiatek's tour-leading record to 47-4 this season and extended her clay-court win streak to 17 matches. The two-time French Open champion has lost just two sets over that span, winning Stuttgart, Rome, and Roland Garros this year. Swiatek is the fifth player in the 2000s to win 17 or more consecutive matches on clay, following in the footsteps of Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Justine Henin, and Maria Sharapova.
The last player to beat Swiatek on clay is Maria Sakkari, who ended her title defense in Paris last year.
Behind an efficient serving day, Swiatek did not face a break point in the match. After breaking to 3-1 in the opening set, the reigning French Open champion won five consecutive games to pocket the set in just over 30 minutes.
Swiatek did not let up in the second set. With Frech double-faulting to hand over the initial break at 3-2, the top seed reeled off the final five games of the second set to seal the 74-minute win.
"I had a break after Wimbledon but I pretty quickly forgot about it because I trained really hard. We had a small pre-season before this tournament. So physically I feel great. Mentally I had some challenges, like having that exhibition match in Krakow, which was really emotional. Mentally, it was crazy all that happened there."
Swiatek will face Romania's Gabriela Lee in the second round. After earning entry into the main draw as a lucky loser, Lee defeated Raluka Serban 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the first round.