Swiatek crushes Pegula to seal Qatar Open title defence
Iga Swiatek avenged an early-season loss to Jessica Pegula as she stormed to the Qatar Open title on Saturday, completing a stunning trophy defence.
In three matches, Swiatek surrendered only five games, sealing the title with a 6-3 6-0 victory over American Pegula.
A heavy defeat to Pegula in Sydney at the beginning of the year saw Swiatek reduced to tears, and she then lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne, albeit to eventual finalist Elena Rybakina.
Now Swiatek is back, with brutal wins over Danielle Collins and Veronika Kudermetova – allowing both players just one game each – preceding her dismissal of Pegula in the final.
The 21-year-old has 12 career titles and is off the mark in 2023, extending her head-to-head dominance to 5-2 over world number four Pegula.
Swiatek said: "I don't care how many games are won or lost. I just feel like I really found my rhythm here, and after a tough beginning of the season I could stay focused from the beginning to the end of the matches, and I'm pretty happy with my performance.
"I hope playing well here is going to be a routine."
The world number one sent a message of support during her on-court speech to the people of war-torn Ukraine, for whom she has helped to raise funds over the last 12 months.
Swiatek, from Poland, said she felt "a real throwback to last year", when this event was taking place as the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
"This was the first tournament where I had a chance to make a speech when the war started in Ukraine," she said. "I feel like we all have pretty short memories, but we should all support Ukrainians with everything they're coping with every day.
"It's pretty disappointing the situation is not changing, but hopefully they will stay strong."