The Queen of Clay: Iga Swiatek became fifth to achieve the 'Dirtball Double'

Sunday, 19 May 2024 at 22:52
Iga Swiatek became the 5th player to win the 'Dirtball Double,' claiming titles at the Madrid Open and Rome Open in the same season. The Polish player made history at the Foro Italico by securing the title for the third time in her career, defeating Aryna Sabalenka convincingly in the final with a score of 6-2, 6-3.
At just 22 years old, Swiatek seems destined to leave a mark with her impressive results. Just a couple of weeks ago, Swiatek lifted her first Madrid Open trophy after a tight final against Sabalenka, adding to her title on Saturday in Rome, completing the WTA 1000 double on clay.

Previous winners of the 'Dirtball Double':

Dinara Safina
The first person to achieve this feat was former world No. 1 Dinara Safina in 2009. The Russian former tennis player had the best year of her career, reaching two Grand Slam finals and ascending to the top of the rankings, although her most remarkable moments were in the WTA 1000 events on clay.
In the Rome final, she defeated her compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova, and a week later in Madrid, she overcame Caroline Wozniacki, both victories in straight sets. Safina reached the final of Roland Garros for the second consecutive year but fell short against Ana Ivanovic.
Serena Williams
Four years after Safina's achievement, Serena became the second WTA Tour player to consecutively win both titles. Amidst a historic streak, Williams defeated Maria Sharapova (No. 2) 6-1, 6-4 at the Caja Magica, and in Rome, she also had no trouble against Belarusian Victoria Azarenka (No. 3), winning 6-1, 6-3. She went on to extend her historic winning streak to 34 matches in the following months.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova
Rafael Nadal
Nadal is a multiple-time champion in both tournaments, with 10 titles at the Rome Open and 'only' 5 at the Madrid Open. The Spanish legend is the ultimate clay court specialist and achieved the double title twice: in 2010 and 2013, making him the only player to have repeated the Dirtball Double. Nadal came close to repeating the feat several times, reaching the finals of both tournaments in six different seasons between 2006 and 2014.
Novak Djokovic
The Serbian repeated Nadal's feat in his memorable year of 2011. The 24-time Grand Slam champion had, in the opinion of many, the best season in tennis history, with 10 titles, including three Grand Slams, and a record of 70-6 for the season. Djokovic secured both titles by defeating the world No. 1 Nadal in the final, both matches in straight sets.

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