What You May Have Missed On This Year’s WTA Tour

Let’s unpack what’s happened––and look forward to what’s ahead––in the tennis world.

By Alexandra Cadet

With all of the chaos surrounding March Madness and Athletes Unlimited, the goings-on of the WTA had to take a back seat here at She Plays recently. But now that April has arrived, it’s time to recap the important stories that we skipped over, from the change-up in singles rankings to the loss of a legend. Here’s everything that you may have missed from the last month of the 2022 Tour.

Fun In the Sun

The Miami Open came to a close on Saturday, with Iga Świątek handily defeating Naomi Osaka to win the title. Her victory in Miami brings her 2022 trophy count up to three, a season best so far. 

Świątek had an absolutely brutal bracket; she faced threats like Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula on the road to her final face-off with Osaka. But she bounced all of her opponents in straight sets, proving that she can handle anyone on the court. Speaking of which…  

A New No. 1

After completing the Sunshine Double, Świątek has been crowned as the WTA’s newest No. 1 in singles. With her ascent, she became the first Polish person to ever hold the top spot in the rankings. 

Image courtesy of Iga Świątek Twitter

“I hope maybe one day there will be more of us in Poland playing tennis at the highest possible level. I’m extremely grateful that my work could be an inspiration for some people,” she shared in a statement following the reveal. Up next for Świątek is the Stuttgart Open, where she’ll hope to show the world exactly why she’s number one.

Barty Party

Devastating news: the phrase “Ain’t no party like a Barty Party ‘cuz a Barty Party don’t stop” is no longer true, thanks to Ash Barty’s unexpected retirement from the sport a few weeks ago. The Australian Open winner announced her decision in late March, citing her desire to pursue “other dreams.”

But while losing her talent on the court is saddening, her motives for calling it quits are completely understandable. During an interview with Courtney Nguyen, Barty confessed that her career had hit a roadblock when she finally achieved her lifelong dream: winning Wimbledon. 

Ashleigh Barty announced her retirement back in March, shortly after winning the Australian Open.
(Image courtesy of the WTA)

“When you work for 20 years towards something and you finally achieve that, I was thinking, ‘What else is there? What more could this sport offer me? What more could I gain from playing the sport?” Plenty of athletes start to feel lost once they’ve won everything they needed to win, so Barty’s decision to not let that feeling fester will be healthier for her in the long run.

Plus, if an athlete absolutely has to retire, winning a major on home soil is probably the best way to go out. The Barty Party might be over, but at least it ended with a bang.    

Looking Ahead

Here are a few of the tour’s upcoming competitions for fans to enjoy: 

Billie Jean King Cup Qualifying Round – These matches will determine who advances to the Billie Jean King Cup, an international team tournament named after the legend herself. No. 4-seeded USA will face Ukraine in the qualifying round. 

Copa Colsanitas – The semi-finals of the Copa Colsanitas haven’t occurred yet at the time of writing. Camila Osorio of Colombia will hope to defend her title on home soil. Keep up with the results of the tournament here.  

Stuttgart Open (Porsche Tennis Grand Prix) – The Stuttgart Open commences next Saturday. Big names like Iga Świątek, Emma Raducanu, and Victória Azárenka are set to feature, making this competition a delight for casual fans. 

İstanbul Cup – This WTA 250 tournament will begin on the 18th of April. Sorana Cîrstea will be the defending champion, should she choose to attend. Be sure to look out for seeding and draw announcements here.

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