Iga Swiatek has reacted to her ‘pretty surreal’ Indian Wells triumph after her victory over Maria Sakkari in the final.
Swiatek is 11-0 at WTA 1000 events this year and showed her class yet again with the 6-4 6-1 80-minute win over the Greek star to edge closer to the top of the world rankings.
The Pole will hit a new career-high ranking of world No. 2 after clinching the title in California, and she was already talking about going one spot further after enjoying the glory at Indian Wells.
“At the beginning of the tournament, I wouldn’t even think about winning, honestly,” Swiatek said in her post-match press conference.
“Of course, you have to believe in yourself, but I’m a realistic person. Winning after playing so well in Doha is giving me a lot of confidence and a kind of belief that I can do it.
“I wouldn’t think of myself as someone who’s ready to play two tournaments in a row and win it. For sure hard work is paying off.
“[Sakkari and I are] stepping a similar path, looking at rankings and looking at what we’ve been playing for the last couple of years. Paula Badosa, Anett [Kontaveit] and Ons Jabeur, I don’t want to forget anybody, but I think we kind of started playing top 10 tennis at the same time.
“[The World No. 2 ranking is] pretty surreal for now. I have to look at it and I have to check the rankings by myself and just see it. Right now, it’s too surreal to describe it, honestly. But for sure I want to go higher because I feel like getting No. 1 is closer and closer.”
Sakkari herself will improve to a new career-high ranking as she moves to world No. 3 and, in the process, matches compatriot Stefanos Tsitsipas’s career-high ATP ranking, something she is proud of.
“I can’t believe there are only two girls above me right now,” Sakkari said after losing out in the final.
“Whoever followed my steps the last couple of years, they know what that means to me.
“I’m very proud that myself and Stefanos have actually grown tennis in Greece. Having two players in that ranking position is something huge for us. I’m going to say it again, but I’m very proud of myself this week.”
In securing back-to-back WTA 1000 titles, Swiatek has become only the second Pole to do so after Agnieszka Radwanska. Winning a second Grand Slam title at the French Open in May will certainly be on her mind.