Serena Williams' ex-coach: On clay, Iga Swiatek is 'like Martina Hingis on steroids'

Swiatek, 22, is a three-time French Open champion and by far the best clay player in the game.

by Dzevad Mesic
Serena Williams' ex-coach: On clay, Iga Swiatek is 'like Martina Hingis on steroids'
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason

Serena Williams' childhood coach Rick Macci says Iga Swiatek is "a cut above" the rest of the competition and compared the Pole's clay-court game to "something like Martina Hingis on steroids." Swiatek, who turned 22 in May, is a four-time Grand Slam champion, with three of her four Slams coming at the French Open.

After going 18-1 on clay last year and winning the French Open, Swiatek went 19-2 on clay this year and also managed to defend her title at Roland Garros. Apart from her clay success, Swiatek has also established herself as a very strong force on hard and she is widely considered the best player in women's tennis.

The 2023 season wasn't easy for Swiatek but the 22-year-old still managed to finish the season with a maiden WTA Finals title and beat out Aryna Sabalenka for the Year-End No 1 spot.

Macci: Swiatek on clay is something like Hingis on steroids

"Well, first off, Iga [Swiatek] has proven herself with four Slams, you know, mentally she has proven herself and she's not going anywhere.

I think she is a cut above, no one's going undefeated, okay, but I think she is much better mentally than the rest of the field. [Aryna] Sabalenka can be in and out, [Elena] Rybakina can kind of be sprayed around a little bit.

[Coco Gauff's] forehand is a little dodgy. But I think it's so fluid, the women's game because there's not a lot of people who have been there done that. You know what I am saying, [players] that have that pedigree and won two or three or four or five Grand Slams.

So every female goes in there, has a shot. Maybe not on clay, because on clay Iga is something like [Martina] Hingis on steroids, she just carves off angles and carves you up like a Thanksgiving turkey. She is by far the best, but those would be the people I would keep an eye on.

But it's so wide open, and all the females know that," Macci said on the Match Point Canada podcast, via Sportskeeda. After vacationing in Maldives, Swiatek hit the gym this week.

Serena Williams Iga Swiatek Martina Hingis