America’s Jessica Pegula was able to laugh at herself after being ‘bageled’ in her defeat by Iga Swiatek in the WTA Finals decider.
After being thrashed 6-1, 6-0 by the Pole in Cancun, Mexico, the 29-year-old posted on Instagram that she had “Ended the year through the Iga bakery factory lol”.
Swiatek dominated Pegula to win the season-ending tournament on Monday and regain her world No 1ranking from Aryna Sabalenka.
The Pole broke Pegula, the world No 5, five times and won the final 11 games in a 59-minute slaughter to capture her first WTA Finals title in a match delayed by a day due to rain.
“I want to thank my team who have been with me for the whole season,” Swiatek said. “We’ve had many ups and downs.”
She also thanked the fans who endured countless rain delays and gusting winds during the event at the coastal Mexican resort town.
The late decision to stage the event in Cancun had brought fierce criticism from players, with Sabalenka accusing the WTA of ‘disrespecting’ women players.
But Swiatek was happy after her victory and keen to praise the supporters who braved the elements. “Thank you guys for coming and cheering for us, you really made it special,” she said.
“Thank you for all these Polish flags and Polish people who are coming to every tournament and those from many countries. Every year I feel like I have more and more support.”
The 29-year-old Pegula, who struggled on her serve and failed to match Swiatek’s energy level, was gracious in defeat.
“Congrats on ending the year No 1 and winning this tournament, it’s really incredible” she said.
“You continue to push me to be a better player and I appreciate that aspect of it. I wish I could have done better today but that’s not how it goes sometimes.”
Swiatek came into the tournament red hot having won last month’s China Open and never dropped a set over the course of her five matches at the event, which brings together the top eight players in the world.
The Polish player ends the season on an 11-match winning streak and will finish the year in the top spot for the second year in a row, having lost the position to Sabalenka after the US Open.
Swiatek, 22, collected six out of her total 17 career titles this season. She retained the French Open crown in June to lift her fourth grand slam trophy.
Players were vocal in their criticism of their sport’s governing body over the slapdash nature of the event in Mexico.
Cancun was named the venue for the £7.31 million Finals less than two months before it started and construction of the courts was only completed the weekend before it began on October 29.
In a letter to the players leaked to the media last week, WTA chief Steve Simon said the late selection of Cancun to host the tournament was “based on a number of complicated factors”.
Simon said the WTA accepted responsibility for the poor conditions and signalled changes to the operation of the tour after a series of other complaints from top players about how they are treated.