Iga Swiatek kisses the Indian Wells trophy.


Perfection. Everyone strives for it, but very few can actually achieve it.

(And that’s ok, you don’t need to be perfect all the time).

In Indian Wells, a pair of former French Open champions were looking to keep perfect streaks alive on finals Sunday, but only one was able to pull it off.

We are already halfway through the Sunshine Double with Miami around the corner, but before the tours move from one coast to the other, here is what you need to know.

In Case You Missed It: Iga keeps rolling, Fritz stuns Rafa

When Iga Świątek powered her way to the French Open title in 2020 and followed it up with a WTA 1000 win on clay in Rome in 2021, never so much as reaching a Grand Slam or WTA 1000 quarter-final off of the dirt in her first three years on tour after debuting in 2019, it would be an understandable assumption that the young Pole is a clay court specialist.

10 weeks into 2022 and she has quickly put that to bed.

Through two WTA 1000 events this year, both on hard courts, Świątek is undefeated at that level, backing up her February victory in Doha with a second 1000-level title in a row in Indian Wells.

The 20-year-old hardly did it the easy way, having to come back after losing the first set in each of her first three matches. But once she found her form, she was impossible to stop, beating Madison Keys (only losing one game), Simona Halep and Maria Sakkari all in straight sets to get her hands on her the BNP Paribas Open trophy.

Her 6-4, 6-1 win over Sakkari in the title match was her fifth straight straight-sets win in a final. Świątek lost her first career final in Lugano in 2019 and since has won five in a row, all in straight sets. The five games the Pole lost in the Indian Wells final tied for the most games she has lost in a final over that span.

Świątek’s idol, Rafael Nadal, was also looking for a bit of perfection of his own, trying to keep his unbeaten overall start to 2022 alive as he entered the event 15-0 on the season.

Like Świątek, Nadal lived dangerously throughout the week, needing three sets to beat Sebastian Korda in round two before surviving narrow three-set battles with Nick Kyrgios and his protégé Carlos Alcaraz in a generational clash semi-final battle just to reach the title match.

After stretching his career-best start to 20-0, Nadal finally suffered his first defeat of the year in the final, where he was upset by American Taylor Fritz in straight sets.

The title in Indian Wells is just the second of Fritz’s career and by far the biggest, with his only other win coming at the 250 event in Eastbourne in 2019. He is also the first American man to win the singles title in Indian Wells since Andre Agassi beat Pete Sampras in 2001.

In singles, it was not the best week for the Canadians. Leylah Annie Fernandez was the last one standing, reaching the round of sixteen for the second year in a row where she lost in two tight sets to defending champion Paula Badosa.

Denis Shapovalov bowed out in the third round, losing to Reilly Opelka, while Félix Auger-Aliassime never got on the board, losing his opening match to Botic van de Zandschulp.

However, there was something to cheer about in the women’s doubles as Fernandez and Gabriela Dabrowski came within a round of setting up an All-Canadian final.

Both women reached the semi-finals of the women’s doubles with their respective partners, Fernandez and Alize Cornet, Dabrowski with regular 2022 partner Giuliana Olmos.

Alas, neither pair was able to advance to the title match. Dabrowski and Olmos came close, falling in a match tiebreak to seventh seeds Asian Muhammad and Ena Shibahara, while Fernandez and Cornet lost in straight sets to eventual champions Yifan Xu and Zhaoxuan Yang.

What to Watch: Make it Two in Miami

Part two of the Sunshine Doubles begins this week with the Miami Open.

Świątek will look to become the first woman since Victoria Azarenka in 2016 to win Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back in the same season and the first woman to win the first three WTA 1000 (or equivalent) tournaments of the season since the level was created in 1990.

Despite having leapfrogged Aryna Sabalenka in the rankings up to a career-high of No. 2, the Pole will be seeded second behind Sabalenka, as the seedings were made before today’s rankings update.

Neither of the 2021 women’s finalists will be competing in 2022. Two-time defending champion and world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and 2021 runner-up Bianca Andreescu are both passing on the event.

Overall, eight of the Top 10 on the women’s side are competing, the absences being Barty and Barbora Krejcikova.

Fernandez is the lone Canadian woman with direct entry to the main draw, seeded 18th. After a bye, she will open her tournament against a Czech opponent, either Karolina Muchova or Tereza Martincova.

Round three will likely see Fernandez have a rematch from her 2021 US Open run, as she could face either 13th seed Angelique Kerber or Naomi Osaka, both of whom the Canadian beat in New York.

In the fourth round, Fernandez could meet third seed Anett Kontaveit.  

Rebecca Marino could join Fernandez in the main draw if she gets through qualifying.

The men’s draw is far stronger than the depleted field that showed up in 2021, although there are still notable absences, including the top player in 2022 Nadal, who is taking some rest before the clay season, and newly re-ascended world No. 1 Novak Djokovic due to COVID-19 restrictions.

As a result, Daniil Medvedev will once again be the top seed this week. Hubert Hurkacz is the defending champion and is seeded eighth. Indian Wells champion Fritz is seeded 11th.

Two Canadian men, Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov, are seeded. Because of Nadal and Djokovic’s absences, Auger-Aliassime will be a top-eight seed at a Masters 1000 event for the first time this week, seeded seventh.

As seeds, both men have first-round byes. Shapovalov has a brutal draw, as he could open against Lloyd Harris, who beat him twice in 2021. The Canadian’s first seeded opponent could be Dan Evans, who won their meeting earlier this year at the ATP Cup. He is in the same section as the defending champion Hurkacz and same quarter as top seed Medvedev.

Auger-Aliassime’s draw is a bit better, as he will open against either a qualifier or Miomir Kecmanovic. His first potential seeded opponent is No. 32 Albert Ramos-Vinolas, but a date with Indian Wells champion Fritz looms in the round of 16. The Canadian No. 1’s potential quarter-final opponent is Stefanos Tsitsipas, although the Greek will have to deal with the in-form Alcaraz to get to the last eight.

Both Canadian men are in the top half of the draw, meaning they could potentially meet in the semis.

Vasek Pospisil will look to make it three Canadian men in the main draw as he is competing in qualifying.

In doubles, Dabrowski and Olmos will look to go a step farther than they did a year ago in Miami, where they reached the semi-finals. Last year they were unseeded, this time they are No. 6.

Under the Radar:

Last week was relatively quiet for the Canadians on the Challenger tour and ITF circuits.

The action picks up this week with three members of Canada’s Davis Cup team competing in three different ATP Challenger events.

Alexis Galarneau and Brayden Schnur are in Europe competing in France and Switzerland respectively, while Steven Diez is entered in an event in Bolivia.

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.