Iga Swiatek reveals why Aryna Sabalenka is having Ashleigh Barty-like impact on her

Swiatek admits Sabalenka's presence is pushing her to work harder.

by Dzevad Mesic
Iga Swiatek reveals why Aryna Sabalenka is having Ashleigh Barty-like impact on her

Iga Swiatek reveals Aryna Sabalenka's presence is having an Ashleigh Barty-like impact on her as the Belarusian is pushing the Pole to get better. Since the 2022 WTA Finals, world No 1 Swiatek has had one win and two losses against second-ranked Sabalenka.

Most recently, world No 1 Swiatek suffered a three-set loss to Sabalenka in the Madrid Open final. “Having someone playing so well like Aryna is motivating. It keeps me constantly ready and on my toes. It really struck me two years ago when I played against Ashleigh Barty, I had a pretty similar feeling playing against her.

So, in practices, I imagine how she is playing the slice and I try to pick it up and give it back. It is a bit like that, but I am glad that have good players and we can motivate each other," Swiatek told Eurosport.

Swiatek says Sabalenka is having a Barty-like effect on her

In the 2022 Adelaide International semifinal, Barty dismantled Swiatek 6-2 6-4 to improve to 2-0 in her head-to-head against the Pole.

Losing to Barty - who at the time was the top-ranked player - pushed Swiatek to work harder as the Pole was determined to figure out how to play the Australian. “I think we all need somebody who is going to push ourselves to the limit.

It gave me a lot of motivation last season when I played against Ash (Barty) in Adelaide. For the next couple of months, before she retired, my main goal was to learn how to play against her a little bit and maybe be able to beat her.

For sure rivalry is welcome, I can totally take a lot from that. So I think it’s great that we have so many people we can compete against," Swiatek said last year. After Barty shockingly retired from tennis last March, Swiatek established herself as the best player in the game.

Iga Swiatek Aryna Sabalenka Ashleigh Barty