The Week in Review is a recap of everything you need to know from the week that was. Last week, the Hologic WTA Tour season came to a dramatic end with Iga Swiatek reclaiming her spot at the top of the rankings after hoisting the trophy at the GNP Seguros WTA Finals Cancun.
Performance of the Week: Iga Swiatek
Step by step, Iga Swiatek moved through a to-do list at the GNP Seguros WTA Finals Cancun with precision and determination.
Get through the round-robin without dropping a set? Check. Oust reigning No.1 Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals to give herself a shot at reclaiming the No.1 ranking? Check. Sweep through the final in under an hour? Check...all in a week's work.
The prizes from Swiatek's romp through Mexico are her first WTA Finals title, a return to the top of the rankings, and the year-end position of World No.1 for the second straight season. Not a bad way to end a year where she won a tour-leading six titles.
"Coming back to World No.1, it's a dream come true," Swiatek said after her victory. "It seems like, you know, just working hard and focusing on the right things at the end worked. So I'm really happy."
Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva: The veterans, 35 and 39 years old respectively, were the last team to qualify for the WTA Finals doubles field. They had to win the Nanchang title to do it -- even a runner-up showing there would not have been enough.
Flash forward weeks later, and they are the doubles champions in Cancun. They won four of their five matches during the week to notch their fourth title in the last four months, capping their spectacular surge in the second half of the season.
"We were taking it easy and enjoying," Siegemund told WTA Insider. "I never thought we would come home with the trophy. It's just a big cherry on the cake."
Jessica Pegula: As she joked in an Instagram story after the Cancun final, Pegula "ended the year through the Iga bakery." Indeed, a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Swiatek was not a fairy-tale ending for the World No.5, but Pegula still impressed mightily during her run into the highest-level final of her career.
Consider: Pegula became the first player since the WTA rankings were first published in 1975 to face the WTA’s top four players at a single event, and she beat three of the four -- No.1 Aryna Sabalenka and No.4 Elena Rybakina in the round-robin, and No.3 Coco Gauff in the semifinals.
Storm Hunter: A doubles semifinal run in Cancun boosted 29-year-old Australian Hunter to World No.1 in doubles for the first time. Hunter's debut at the top spot was impeccably timed, as it also guaranteed her the year-ending World No.1 ranking.
Anna Kalinskaya: Kalinskaya has put together a superb stretch over the last two weeks of WTA 125 tournaments. She reached her first WTA 125 singles final in Tampico, Mexico two weeks ago, then went one better by claiming the title in Midland, Michigan, U.S.A. on Sunday.
Beatriz Haddad Maia: Shoutout to Brazil's Haddad Maia, who won the singles and doubles titles at the Huafa Technology WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai in the week prior to the WTA Finals. Haddad Maia finishes the season at a career-best year-end ranking of No.11.
Photo of the Week
The battle for the Billie Jean King Trophy started early in Mexico.
22: At 22 years and 159 days old, Iga Swiatek is the youngest player to capture the WTA Finals singles title since Petra Kvitova won the 2011 title at age 21.
68: Swiatek finishes the season with a 68-11 win-loss record in 2023. Swiatek is the first player under age 23 to secure more than 65 tour-level match-wins in consecutive years since Martina Hingis from 1997 to 2000.
20 - Since the reintroduction of the RR format in 2003, Iga Swiatek (20 games) is the first player to concede fewer than 25 games en route to winning the WTA Finals, breaking Serena Williams’ record of 32 sets in 2012. Benchmark.#WTAFinals | @WTAFinals @WTA @WTA_insider pic.twitter.com/UkOeQHBssY— OptaAce (@OptaAce) November 6, 2023
50: The four semifinalists at this year’s WTA Finals – Swiatek, Jessica Pegula, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff – are the only four players to have won 50 or more tour-level singles matches during the 2023 season.
6-0: Gauff became the first teenager to win a 6-0 set at the WTA Finals since Anna Kournikova won a bagel set against Conchita Martinez in the 2000 edition.
Shot of the Week
You can always count on a little bit of magic from the hands of Demi Schuurs.
The Hologic WTA Tour events have come to an end for 2023, but that hardly means the end of top-notch play.
This week, 12 nations will contend for the Billie Jean King Cup, the prestigious team competition in women's tennis, in Seville, Spain. Switzerland will attempt to defend their crown from last year.
And in the five weeks to follow, seven WTA 125 tournaments will take place, ranging from the clay courts in Colina, Chile to indoor hard-court action in Limoges, France.