CANCUN, Mexico -- A year ago, Iga Swiatek swept to the No.1 ranking and the 21-year-old at the time produced a memorable season, one of the best this century.

By virtually any measure, the sequel has been nearly as impressive. There was a third title at Roland Garros and, so far, a Hologic WTA Tour-leading 63 match-wins and five titles.

But because there wasn’t a 37-match win streak -- or a second Grand Slam like she had at the US Open in 2022 -- there was a vague sense of disappointment when Swiatek lost to Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round in New York and lost the top spot to Aryna Sabalenka.

There’s a misguided theory of relativity at work here, and Swiatek, for one, is well aware.

“For sure sometimes I felt like it’s just kind of ridiculous because people got used to me winning,” she told reporters Saturday at the GNP Seguros WTA Finals. “It’s not like it’s going to happen all the time. This season was kind of more normal, I would say, like most of the seasons we play, for even the top players.

WTA Finals: Scores | Draws | Order of play

“I think the main thing that I want to avoid is forgetting that this was also a good season, and I still won some [she paused to smile] … great tournaments. I won a Grand Slam, so ...

So … Swiatek will go to work in Estadio Paradisus looking to extend her tour-best results in a loaded Chetumal Group that features three of the four major winners this year. On Monday, the No.2-seeded Swiatek takes on No.7 Marketa Vondrousova, followed by No.3 Coco Gauff versus No.6 Ons Jabeur.

How’s this for a remarkable turn of events? As wonderful as her 2022 season was, if she were to run the table here in Mexico, Swiatek would surpass that win total by one and retake the World No.1 ranking. She’s won 130 matches across the past two years. Swiatek is very likely to become the first player to win more than 130 matches in a two-year span since Serena Williams put together a sturdy 136 a decade ago.

Maybe it was the thrill of discovery a year ago, as a fresh face surprisingly filled the void left by retiring Ashleigh Barty. This year, the 19-year-old Gauff has drawn that kind of attention. The reality? At 22, Swiatek already owns four Grand Slam singles titles. And perhaps that’s one reason her non-French Open major results (Round of 16 at the Australian Open and US Open and quarterfinals at Wimbledon) have felt so inadequate.

Back in August, Swiatek received a number of angry messages -- after a three-set win over Zheng Qinwen in Cincinnati.

“The amount of hate and criticism that me and my team get after even losing a set is just ridiculous," Swiatek said at the time. “It’s kind of sad for me to see that people I work with and myself, we are really judged. Today, even though I didn’t start the match well, I would love for people to see how I problem-solved and how I really got out of trouble.

“We all sacrifice a lot, and we are all working really hard to be in that place. We are always giving 100 percent of what we can do every day.”

Not only has there been a significant quantity of Swiatek victories this year, there’s also been an unmistakable quality, as well. And this is something to keep in mind as this tournament unfolds.

Only two players here have a better than .500 record against the other seven singles players, Swiatek and Sabalenka -- and it isn’t even close. Swiatek (27-13, .675) holds an impressive advantage over Sabalenka (22-18, .550). And, just like last year, Swiatek leads all players with eight Top 10 wins.

“Comparing everything to 2022, I can tell you pretty confidently that I may not have a season like that again,” Swiatek said, “but I’m going to do my best.

“For sure, the expectations from the outside, it was the thing that really sometimes stopped me this season. I’m going to work on not letting it stop me this time.”