Justine Henin explains why Iga Swiatek could thrive as new No. 1

Henin weighs in on Swiatek replacing Ashleigh Barty at the No. 1 spot.

by Dzevad Mesic
Justine Henin explains why Iga Swiatek could thrive as new No. 1

Former world No. 1 Justine Henin said losing Ashleigh Barty is not good news for the women's game but added Iga Swiatek has what it takes to be the next big champion. Last week, Barty announced a shock retirement from tennis at the age of 25.

Swiatek, who rose to a career-high ranking of No. 2 after winning Indian Wells, will replace Barty as the new No. 1 when the WTA rankings list get updated after Miami. Barty's name will be removed from the WTA rankings list on Monday.

"Barty's retirement is not good news for women's tennis today," Henin told Eurosport. "She was a girl who brought a lot of creativity, with an extremely complete game. And she had this consistency."

Henin: Swiatek has charisma and can be a great ambassador for the game

"Iga Swiatek, she has charisma, she can get the public, she likes to play in front of people.

I think that she will now have to go for the big titles," Henin continued. "Iga will have to avoid the trap of that absolute pressure, when you go out on the court as world No. 1 of having to impose yourself, of having to win every game.

"But rather taking it as a positive privilege and saying to herself today that she is not stealing this place from anyone. And to continue to work and try to establish a bit more authority. "She has so much desire to do well that sometimes she loses herself a little in this energy.

"There is experience, maturity that will come into play little by little. She has something in her personality, so we hope she'll be a great world No. 1." Swiatek has definitely deserved to be the new No. 1 as she has been the most consistent player on the WTA Tour so far this season.

Swiatek made back-to-back semifinals at the Adelaide International and Australian Open, before winning Doha and Indian Wells.

Justine Henin Iga Swiatek Ashleigh Barty