Swiatek secures 1st place in the ranking; the Cerúndolo win

Iga Swiatek started the week deciding that she wanted to focus on being No. 1 in the world, not knowing how long it would take her to reach that goal.

After a few days… and an unexpected retreat, the mission was accomplished.

Women’s tennis has a new leader of its ranks. This is the 20-year-old tennis player who, after the surprise retirement of Ash Barty, who also asked to remove her name from the place of honor, became the first Pole in history to rise to the top, thanks to a victory of 6 -2, 6-0 over Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic in the second round of the Miami Open.

When the tournament concludes and the ladder is updated, Barty will be retired and Swiatek will officially be installed in first place on April 4, no matter what happens in the rest of this tournament.

“I’m really pleased and proud of myself,” said Swiatek, the 28th different woman to hold the top spot since November 1975, when the computerized system to define it debuted. Her rise has been steady.

She finished 2016 at No. 903, broke into the top 500 for the first time in 2018, finished 2020 as No. 17, and was ranked No. 9 as 2021 came to an end.

Barty revealed his decision to retire only on Wednesday. As part of this, the Australian said that she wanted her to be removed from the ranking.

He had held the lead for 113 consecutive weeks, tying Chris Evert for the fourth-longest such streak. And Barty, a two-time defending champion in Miami, would have retained the top spot after this contest even if Swiatek won the title.

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But his decision opened the door for the Polish or for the Spanish Paula Badosa (seeded 5th) in Miami and the other tennis player who had a mathematical chance of taking first place.

Badosa won their second-round matchup in Miami on Friday, 7-5, 7-5 over Marie Bouzkova.

Only in the previous edition of Miami, Badosa was 71st.

“Things have changed a lot and very fast,” he said. “I am really proud. I think I’ve had a fantastic year.”

Swiatek and Badosa reversed a rare trend in Miami, where the seeds have struggled. Of the 32 favorites who started the tournament, more than half packed their bags before the third round.

American Coco Gauff (14th) is another exception. She defeated China’s Wang Qiang 7-5, 6-4 on Friday.

Jessica Pegula (16th) also advanced. Instead, the Greek Maria Sakkari (4th), the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko (10th), the Belgian Elise Mertens (20th) fell on the day; the Romanian Sorana Cirstea (24th), the local Madison Keys (26th) and the Russian Liudmila Samsonova (29th).

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