Mats Wilander weighs in on Iga Swiatek chances of emulating Serena Williams dominance
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 5370
Mats Wilander thinks Iga Swiatek may not reach the Serena Williams and Steffi Graf level of dominance but the former seven-time Grand Slam champion still expects the Pole "to win lots of Majors. In her first tournament of the year at the United Cup, Swiatek suffered a 6-2 6-2 loss to Jessica Pegula.
At the Australian Open, Swiatek suffered a straight-set defeat in the round-of-16 against Elena Rybakina. In late February, Swiatek was upset by Barbora Krejcikova 6-4 6-2 in the Dubai final. After a very dominant 2022 season, Swiatek has been beatable at the start of the 2023 season.
"I think kind of the other way of what people are saying. I think it's great for Iga to not be carrying around this pressure of being this next Graf or Serena that's going to just dominate on all the different surfaces. Maybe she will struggle on the grass court, maybe struggle on a fast hard court, maybe against one style of player that can hit the ball hard.
Krejcikova is an inspiration in terms of the way that she is hitting a tennis ball because the way that she hits it is so clean and it's so natural and it's as good on both sides. When you look at someone like Rybakina, you're looking at the same kind of consistency off both sides.
When you look at Pegula, who took out Swiatek before that in the United Cup, she is the same kind of player, consistent on both sides and hitting the ball hard from both sides. I think the best thing for Swiatek is to be able to approach every surface, every match in the way that she always has, which is 'it's about Iga, but it's also about my opponent, and I know that I'm one of the best players in the world, but nothing is taken for granted.
I've got to show up' I think when she plays really well, we tend to think about things that are way too big for someone as young as Iga," Wilander told Eurosport's Arnold Montgault.
Wilander: Swiatek is a great player but she is also a human
"She's a great player, she's a great champion, she's going to win lots of Grand Slams in my book.
But she's a human. I think that she's showing certain weaknesses in terms of mentality, certain frustrations, and if she doesn't show that, she wouldn't be the player that she is. So I think everything is very healthy for her.
It's just clear there's a style of player that she will have to look out for on certain speed hard courts, and those players are very consistent and hit the ball very hard from both sides. That's her worry," Wilander added.
For Swiatek, her biggest focus is doing well at the Grand Slam and WTA 1000 level. Last year, Swiatek conquered the Sunshine Double by winning back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami. Even though Swiatek hasn't been that impressive at the start of 2023, she is considered the top favorite for the titles in Indian Wells and Miami.