Iga Swiatek defeats Aryna Sabalenka for chance to reclaim number one spot

Iga Swiatek has moved a step closer to reclaiming the world number one spot with a straight-sets victory over Aryna Sabalenka in the WTA Finals.

Swiatek, the world number two, claimed her 67th win of the year and her 10th win in a row in the 6-3 6-2 victory against the current number one Sabalenka on Sunday in Mexico.

The match, which began on Saturday, was suspended after the fourth game due to wet weather, which has featured consistently throughout the tournament.

When it resumed on Sunday, Swiatek broke Sabalenka in the first game back and went on to take the win in just over 90 minutes.

“I’m really, really happy, I think that was the toughest and nicest match that I have played here,” Swiatek said after the match.

The 22-year-old from Poland went unbroken throughout the match and won more than 75 per cent of her service points.

She will meet world number five Jessica Pegula in the final on Monday for a chance to finish the year as the world number one.

It only took an hour for Pegula to beat her doubles partner and fellow American Coco Gauff on Saturday in a 6-2 6-1 win to continue her exceptional tournament form.

Both Pegula and four-time grand slam winner Swiatek have gone through the tournament undefeated, with neither player dropping a single set.

The poor weather, which has delayed the tournament by a day, has given further ammunition to critics of the late decision to stage the event in Cancun.

Sabalenka has been one of the most vocal of those, hitting out at the condition of the hastily-laid court, and she retweeted a video of players battling the elements accompanied by the caption: “I’m dying laughing or maybe crying.”

Another criticism regarding the venue was the short turnaround for those players heading to the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Seville, which begin on Tuesday.

Swiatek and Pegula both chose not to make themselves available for their countries but doubles finalists Ellen Perez and Laura Siegemund face a dash across the Atlantic.

Perez’s Australia are due to play their first match against Slovenia at 10am Spanish time on Tuesday, only 14 and a half hours after the scheduled start of the doubles final in Mexico.

Perez wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Anyone got a private jet and want to fly me from Cancun to Seville tomorrow night to make it in time for BJKC Tuesday 10am match. Really not impressed with this scheduling disaster. Why do I have to be punished for this.”