ROME (AP) — Iga Swiatek stepped up and nobody has brought her down.
Swiatek earned the No. 1 ranking in women's tennis by default two months ago when
Ash Barty announced her immediate retirement. Add in Serena Williams' absence for nearly a year and there were plenty of questions about who might assert themselves as the new woman to beat.
Well, since February, nobody has beaten Swiatek.
The Polish player extended her winning streak to 26 matches and reached the Italian Open semifinals after beating former U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu 7-6 (2), 6-0 on Friday.
Swiatek struggled to handle being a top-five player last year. Now she's learned how to use her recent success to intimidate.