After WTA Finals exit, Swiatek relieved 'intense' season is over

Nov 6, 2022; Forth Worth, TX, USA; Aryna Sabalenka in her press conference after winning her semi final match against Iga Swiatek (POL) on day seven of the WTA Finals at Dickies Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Iga Swiatek missed out on a place in the WTA Finals title match after a surprise defeat to Aryna Sabalenka on Sunday but the world number one said she is happy her "intense" season is finally at an end.

The Pole, who went on a 37-match winning streak earlier in the year, won the French and U.S. Opens as well as titles at Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome and San Diego.

Swiatek, 21, was hot favourite to finish her year with the season-ending title at the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas but was beaten 6-2 2-6 6-1 by Sabalenka in their semi-final.

"Not going to lie, I've been waiting for this moment," Swiatek told reporters. "It was pretty hard to see the finish line but still be fully motivated and ready for every match.

"This season has been so intense and I'm so proud of myself that I could play so well till the end. I'm happy it's done."

Swiatek's U.S. Open success saw her became the first woman to capture two Grand Slam titles in a season since Angelique Kerber won the Australian and U.S. Opens in 2016.

Sabalenka just outplayed her on the day, she said.

"In second set I wanted to kind of overpower her, but in the third I felt it's not my kind of game. I feel like I was playing too risky ... she used her chances and served really well," she added.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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