Ever since the exit of Serena Williams the women’s field around the WTA circuit has had an open look. There really has been no dominant star, the players at the No. 1 spot in the rankings have kept changing routinely and the number of Grand Slam titles have been shared over the last few years by a number of contestants.

Australia’s Ashleigh Barty did give the impression that she could be a dominant player winning three Grand Slams and one WTA Tour title between 2019 and 2022. But she suddenly announced her retirement from the game in March 2022 just two months after her Australian Open title and still ranked No 1 at the time.

That again gave the field a rather open look but if her performances over the last couple of years are any indication Iga Swiatek has everything going for her to become the most dominant player around the WTA circuit since Serena. Her commanding performance at the recently concluded French Open only helped in cementing that view.

She dropped only one set towards completing a hat trick of title triumphs making her only the third woman after Justin Henin (2005 to 2007) and Monica Seles (1990 to 1992) to perform that feat. It was her fourth title overall at Roland Garros and along with the US Open title she won in 2022 her tally of five Grand Slam triumphs puts her way ahead of the competition.

Swiatek’s 21st straight victory put her in fourth place in the list of longest winning streaks at Roland Garros in the Open era behind only Chris Evert (29), Monica Seles (25) and Justin Henin (24). She is just the third player – male or female – to win the first five Grand Slam finals she contested joining Roger Federer (7-0) and Monica Seles (6-0).

Little wonder then that after winning the title she said ‘I love this place. Honestly I wait every year to come back here.’’ As she is only 23 it is fair to assume that many more titles await her at her favourite venue. This year in particular she has been awesome on clay, becoming only the second woman to win the Madrid Open, Italian Open and Roland Garros in a calendar year after Serena in 2013.

There are several aspects about Swiatek’s game that are eye-catching but perhaps the foremost quality that makes her a tough even dangerous opponent is her ruthlessness on court. This was amply evident at the French Open and the manner in which she demolished her opponents in double quick time marked her out as a true champion.

This included a 6-0, 6-0 demolition job in the fourth round against A Potapova but even against stronger opponents she was just as impressive. The manner in which she simply swept aside the third seed Coco Gauff in the semifinals 6-2, 6-4 was another example of her ruthlessness which was also seen in her making short work of J Paolini 6-2, 6-1 in the title clash. Reigning Wimbledon champion M Vondrousova fared no better in the quarterfinal going down 0-6, 2-6.

This ruthless streak in Swiatek was seen early. During her French Open title run in 2020 when she had just turned 19 she did not lose more than five games in any singles match.

In November last year at the season ending WTA Tour finals she won the title without dropping a set becoming the first player to do so since Serena in 2012. She also dropped just 20 games throughout the entire tournament, the fewest since the introduction of the round robin format in 2003 while also beating Serena’s record of 32 overall games dropped.

She also beat the record for games lost in a final which previously had been held by Martina Navratilova in 1983 and Kim Clisters in 2003 (two each). In the title clash against a tough opponent in fifth ranked Jessica Pagula Swiatek lost only one game and reclaimed the top ranking to become the year end No 1 for the second season in a row.

Swiatek has the most power packed game since Serena. She has an aggressive all court style of play and incorporates a lot of variety into her game. Because she is so focused on attack, she typically generates high amounts of both winners and unforced errors.

She has this sliding ability allowing her to defend from the corners, a sprinter’s speed when moving forward to the net and mental strength forged through sports psychology. She loves to come to the net often and has good volleying skills due to her doubles experience.

Swiatek has the game to success on grass and after ruling clay this is the surface she wants to focus on. “Tennis is different on grass’’ she admits. Her best at Wimbledon was as a quarterfinalist last year, a record she wants to set right soon.

She has yet to win the Australian Open where she has been a semifinalist in 2022. She has already started preparing in earnest for Wimbledon by playing in a couple of grass court tournaments in England.

Swiatek is the first Polish player, male or female, to reach the No. 1 ranking is streets ahead in the WTA rankings. The No. 2 ranked Coco Gauff is some 3700 points, an unheard of difference between two top players. Her one-time close rivals Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina are further behind.

There is no one on the horizon capable of overtaking her and even with the season only halfway through it is safe to assume she will end 2024 again as the No 1. She has already held that position for 107 weeks now and certainly has it in her to keep stretching that for a much more extended period.