Schett crowns Aryna Sabalenka as Iga Swiatek's main rival

The former Austrian player spoke about the 2024 tennis season, analyzing what the main stars of the women's Tour could do

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Schett crowns Aryna Sabalenka as Iga Swiatek's main rival
© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

Iga Swiatek is and will be the tennis player to beat in the coming years. The Pole, despite her young age, has already been able to win four Slams, including three Roland Garros and the US Open. In 2023, Aryna Sabalenka was her main opponent, contending with her for the throne of the WTA ranking until the end, which ended up in the hands of the Pole for the second consecutive time.

This result was then determined by the WTA Finals, dominated by Swiatek.

Swiatek© Paul Kane / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Barbara Schett, former Austrian tennis player and Eurosport commentator, believes that the challenge between Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka will occur again in 2024.

Schett believes that the Belarusian tennis player will be the main rival of the Polish WTA No.1 also in 2024. "I think that Sabalenka, on hard courts, has to be a player who hits the ball extremely hard, who has a lot of pace, who can put pressure on Swiatek and who has an important serve.

Then there are Elena Rybakina, Coco Gauff. I could put Jessica Pegula in the middle, we'll see how she plays, but she's capable of doing it. Maybe Karolina Muchova can do it, who maybe can also mix things up a bit, but who has a little more pace than Ons Jabeur," she said.

Schett believes the 2023 WTA season will have the same path of the 2023 one

The former Austrian player reiterated how she believes in the tennis players that she herself mentioned in the first part of the interview: "Yes, I believe that the players I mentioned will be the greatest rivals.

But if I had to choose one, I think it would be Sabalenka."

Sabalenka© Chris Hyde / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Schett expects a script for the new season very similar to what happened this year. On the hard courts of Melbourne, Sabalenka, defending champion, could repeat herself, while in Paris Swiatek could continue her domination: "We know that Swiatek feels at ease at Roland Garros, on clay, I think, with the His spin on the forehand, with the backhand, and can flatten it, is the favorite.

Yes, she will feel the pressure, but she will feel it everywhere. It's about understanding how to manage it. I think she will be very excited to play the Olympics in Paris, where she has had so much success," said Schett.

Aryna Sabalenka Iga Swiatek