World No.1 Iga Swiatek fended off a spirited effort from qualifier Donna Vekic to capture her 11th career WTA singles title and eighth of the season on Sunday. Three-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek defeated the 77th-ranked Vekic of Croatia 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 in the San Diego Open final. for her WTA-best 64th match victory of 2022. The Polish top seed battled for one hour and 47 minutes to register her tour-leading 64th match win of the year. The 21-year-old Polish star bounced back in her ninth championship match of the year after losing last week’s final at Ostrava to Czech Barbora Krejcikova.
Swiatek has the most match-wins in a single season (including WTA Tour events and Billie Jean King Cup play) since Serena Williams won 78 matches in 2013. with a 24-1 win-loss record on U.S. soil in 2022, Swiatek has had an excellent and perfect year at American events.
Meanwhile, Vekic’s renewed run through the draw came to an end at the hands of the World No.1, in the former Top 20 player’s second singles match of the day. In a rain-halted semifinal on Saturday, Vekic was trailing Danielle Collins 4-2 in the deciding set.
However, the 26-year-old Croatian fought valiantly and rallied to win the third-set tiebreak when the match resumed on Sunday. She defeated 19th-ranked American Collins, this year’s Australian Open runner-up, by 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2). After winning her two qualifying matches, Vekic defeated four straight Top 25 players in the main draw. But despite testing the world’s best Swiatek through two sets and pushing her into a third set for the first time in their three meetings, overcoming the Polish star was a tough task for Vekic in her second match of the day.
Swiatek won 82 percent of her second-service points in the final, while Vekic only had a 39 percent success rate behind her own second serves. That helped Swiatek convert four of her six break points on the day.
Swiatek started well and played steady in the first set, drawing errors from Vekic to earn the only break at 4-2. Swiatek broke in the sixth game and held twice to capture the first set after 40 minutes when Vekic netted a backhand. In the second set, Vekic broke on a forehand crosscourt winner for a 4-2 lead and held twice to force a third set. It made Swiatek step up and fire in the decider, wrapping up lengthy rallies with pinpoint winners.