Worl no 2 Iga Swiatek of Poland defeated No.1 Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 6-2 WTA Finals, setting up a summit clash with Jessica Pegula.
The 22-year-old Swiatek has dropped a total of only 19 games in Cancun, the fewest by any player to reach the WTA Finals championship match since Justine Henin in 2007.
She has now won a total of 67 matches this year, equaling her marvelous 2022 campaign.
The Pole is also the youngest player to reach the WTA Finals championship match since Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka in 2011.
If Swiatek wins Monday’s championship match against Pegula, she’ll regain the top spot she relinquished two months ago and finish as the year-end No.1 for the second straight time. If Pegula prevails, Sabalenka will finish on top for the first time in her career, WTA reports.
The semifinal between Sabalenka and Swiatek was suspended because of rain on Saturday, with Sabalenka serving down 2-1, 30-30, on serve.
The match resumed on Sunday, with 18 minutes elapsed and Sabalenka serving to level the first set at 2-all, 30-all. Swiatek needed only two points to break her serve, setting a tone for the rest of the match.
Swiatek secured the set with a precision backhand down the line that Sabalenka couldn’t quite track down, ultimately forcing her into a running forehand long.
The third game of the second set was a test of wills, won by Swiatek. She converted her fourth break point with another error from Sabalenka. Later, in the seventh game, Swiatek broke Sabalenka for the third time in the match before serving out the win