It was the matchup of the 2023 WTA Elite Trophy winner and the 2023 WTA Finals winner, World No. 11 Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil ended the 2023 season with a clean sweep of singles and doubles at the WTA Elite Trophy event and Iga Swiatek famously reclaimed her World No. 1 ranking by winning the WTA Finals in Cancun in November. The two faced off on the second day of United Cup action with Brazil facing Poland.
Swiatek picked up right where she left off winning the match 6-2, 6-2 giving Poland a 1-0 lead. In typical Swiatek fashion, she put her foot on the gas pedal from the first ball and never looked back. She had 21 winners in the match compared to Haddad Maia's two.
Swiatek once again proved that she is tough to catch when she jumps out to a quick lead. And she served notice that losing her No. 1 ranking for part of 2023 to Aryna Sabalenka and only winning one Grand Slam, the 2023 French Open, added to her intensity and motivated her even more in 2024. When asked after the match if the WTA Tour will see a more dangerous Iga Swiatek this year, she said, "Well I hope so, I'll do my best."
Iga Swiatek has her eye on the Australian Open title
In addition to leading Poland in United Cup action, Swiatek has her eye on a prize that has eluded her thus far in her career, that is the 2024 Australian Open. Naomi Osaka, Ash Barty, and Aryna Sabalenka are the three recent winners. One of Swiatek's goals is to complete the career grand slam so wins at Australia and Wimbledon are on her to-do list.
With the competition more intense, the scrutiny about her more heated, and more focus on taking the World No. 1 ranking from her, Swiatek will need to deliver a lot of performances in 2024 like today's against Haddad Maia.