Rafael Nadal, Iga Swiatek crowned 2022 ITF World Champions: Stats
Spanish ace Rafael Nadal was crowned ITF World Champion for the fifth time after a phenomenal run in 2022. The world number two pocketed the Australian Open in January and later a record-extending 14th title at the Roland Garros in June. Meanwhile, Iga Swiatek was named winner in the women's category, becoming the first Polish woman to bag the honor. Here's more.
Why does this story matter?
Nadal has now equaled former rival and lately-retired Roger Federer as five-time ITF World Champion. The 36-year-old ranks behind Pete Sampras (6) and Novak Djokovic (7), with the latter last winning the title in 2021. Meanwhile, Swiatek broke a truckload of records to claim her maiden honor, besides winning the coveted WTA Player of the Year a few days back.
Nadal last won the award in 2018
As stated, it was the fifth instance of Nadal being named the ITF Men's World Champion. He previously received the award in 2008, 2010, 2017, and 2018.
More feats of Swiatek
By winning 37 matches, Swiatek matched the record of Martina Hingis (as many in 1997). This 37-match winning streak is the longest since Stefanie Graf won 66 consecutive matches between 1989 and 1990. Notably, Swiatek remained unbeaten for 135 days. She became the first-ever player to win the first three WTA 1000 events of a season (Italian Open, Miami Open, and Indian Wells).
Nadal finishes with a 39-8 win-loss record
In January, the Spaniard defied all odds to win the Australian Open. He broke a tie with Federer and Djokovic in terms of Grand Slam titles. Nadal then went on to claim a record-extending 14th French Open title. Although injury marred his plight at Wimbledon, the 36-year-old was ruthless en route to the semi-finals. Nadal finished the season with a 39-8 win-loss record.
Nadal unlocked these feats
Nadal, who won Australian Open and Roland Garros this year, finished second in the year-end ATP Rankings. He became the oldest to finish in the Top 2, behind Carlos Alcaraz. Nadal finished in the Top 10 for a record-equaling 18th consecutive year (equaling Federer). Alcaraz and Nadal became the first countrymen to finish first and second since Americans Sampras and Michael Chang (1996).
Swiatek broke these records
Swiatek finished the season with a win-loss record of 67-9. She had earlier equaled Angelique Kerber's record for the most WTA Tour victories in the past six years (63 in 2016). As per WTA, the three-time Grand Slam winner now has the most wins in a single season (including WTA Tour events and Billie Jean King Cup play) since Serena Williams' 78 in 2013.
Swiatek's rise to the top
Swiatek rose to the top of the WTA Rankings after Ashleigh Barty announced a sudden retirement. After claiming the top spot, Swiatek won her second major Grand Slam at the French Open. She followed it up with a historic US Open title in September. As a result, Swiatek became the first woman with two Slam titles in a season since Kerber in 2016.
What about the doubles?
In men's doubles, American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury won their maiden honor. The duo won their third grand Slam at the US Open, besides winning the ATP Finals title for the first time later in November. Czech pair of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova grabbed hold of the women's doubles title for the third time, having won in 2018 and 2021.