Iga Swiatek returned to the site where her masterful rise in 2022 began with a 37-match win streak. And what a statement the world No. 1 made at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open in Doha Wednesday.

On paper, Swiatek’s opening match presented intrigue. Across the net was Danielle Collins, one of the nine players to defeat the Pole during a banner 2022 season that saw her win eight titles and completely own her status as the 28th world No. 1 in WTA history.

In reality, today's show was a solo act. Swiatek completely silenced Collins, serving up another bakery special with a 6-0, 6-1 victory.

"I'm happy that I was kind of composed and from the beginning till the end pretty focused and disciplined with tactics. So I didn't really let Danielle get into the rhythm," Swiatek told press. "I wanted to be aggressive. I'm pretty happy that I did that well."

Swiatek finished with eight winners and six unforced errors Wednesday.

Swiatek finished with eight winners and six unforced errors Wednesday.


Per usual, Swiatek was world class when stretched to the corners of the court and proved superior with taking the ball early against an opponent who thrives on dictating from the baseline. Collins won just four points in the opening set, finding zero winners and spraying 13 unforced errors. Swiatek only required a single winner over the first six games, but was far cleaner with two unforced errors.

"The conditions here, it's pretty humid, more humid than in other places we play usually. This is like the first tournament in a season that has [a] slower surface," Swiatek assessed. "So I feel like I can run a little bit more. The rhythm of the match seems more comparable to, like, indoor European tournaments or clay courts."

Swiatek impressively opened at 40-0 or 40-15 in all but one of her trips to the service line. That lone glimmer of hope for Collins ultimately saw the American drop a 14-point game (no break points) to fall behind 3-0 in the second set. Collins finally got on the scoreboard after the ensuing changeover when she struck a crosscourt backhand winner, but Swiatek never let up, claiming 21 of 29 return points in racing to the finish line with a 53-minute demolition.

"I want to use the experience that I had last year, but I'm not really taking anything for granted," said Swiatek. "I just know that I feel comfortable here with the conditions."

Last year, Swiatek’s torrid stretch of form began in Doha when she fended off Viktorija Golubic over three sets in a second-round meeting. She won't play again until the semifinals, after No. 7 seed Belinda Bencic provided an early walkover.

The incoming Abu Dhabi champion, who lost to Swiatek at January's inaugural United Cup, rallied past Victoria Azarenka, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, after two hours and 42 minutes of work. Bencic trailed by a 4-1 double break in the second set, and while she mounted a courageous comeback, later withdrew from the event due to fatigue.