Mats Wilander explains why Iga Swiatek deserves to be next No. 1


Mats Wilander explains why Iga Swiatek deserves to be next No. 1

Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander thinks Iga Swiatek has proved that she deserved to be the next No. 1. Swiatek, who climbed up to a career-high ranking of No. 2 following her Indian Wells victory, is the top favorite to replace Ashleigh Barty when the WTA rankings list gets updated after Miami.

"She [Swiatek] is ready for that [being world No. 1] because she won Roland-Garros and she won it easily without dropping a single set," Wilander told Eurosport. "She has done well in the other Grand Slams. She has been preparing herself to be in the spotlight of professional tennis for a long time, and the reason I would say that is that she has been travelling with a psychologist sometimes.

She is very close to that part of her tennis, which is part of life, and that is to mentally be ready.

"In your mind, you are available to try and solve problems. It is a problem-solving situation: in tennis, and life is too.

You are not going to make the right choices all the time.

"You are not going to solve all the problems, but the more prepared you are for the day that either you reach the success you wanted, which is kind of unexpected, but at least it is unknown, or you don't get the success that you wanted - that is also the unknown.

Wilander: Swiatek would have eventually reached the No. 1 even with Barty active

Swiatek has been playing consistent tennis so far in 2022 and she has made a stunning improvement on hard. Swiatek, who was considered as a threat only on clay at the beginning of her career, is now becoming a dominant force on hard.

"I think for Iga Swiatek, she definitely was a future world No. 1, and now it comes, most probably earlier than we had all expected, but she is very complete as a player," Wilander added. "She was very mature as a player, and she is very willing to explore all the different options to become a better tennis player and to enjoy the sport more. So it is no surprise."

Mats Wilander Iga Swiatek Ashleigh Barty