Mats Wilander feels losing the world No 1 ranking to Aryna Sabalenka is "most probably the best thing that can happen" for Iga Swiatek's game. Swiatek, who reached the world No 1 ranking on April 4th, 2022, will be the second-ranked player in the world on Monday.
After 75 consecutive weeks of Swiatek's reign, 25-year-old Sabalenka dethroned the Pole and is set to become the world No 1 for the first time in her career. "I think this is most probably the best thing that can happen for her tennis.
There’s a reason for her to start working on her game again and figuring out what happens to her when she plays against big hitters now she doesn’t have to [worry about being world No 1]. But she’s right in the statement about defending.
We turn into a bit of a negative, we talk about defending, defending points, so I think it’s time for her to step aside and work on her game a bit," Wilander told Eurosport.
Wilander thinks this could be 'the best thing' for Swiatek's tennis
Now that Swiatek has lost the world No 1 spot, naturally there will be less attention and pressure on her.
After suffering a shock US Open round-of-16 exit and losing the world No 1 spot, Swiatek took a few days to reflect on what happened. On Wednesday, Swiatek shared a message to fans. "Last 1,5 year was a time of observing and experiencing how much people talk and write about 'defending', 'defense' - of titles, ranking position, points...
I was surprised sometimes to start to think this way because of this. But... I don't need to defend anything and this is a good moment to write down some thoughts. For me sport is a cycle of constant changes exactly like in everyday life, we can either win or lose - that's it, it's so simple.
New season, next tournament, new opportunities to GAIN, ACHIEVE, not defend something. Clean slate," Swiatek said in a message posted on Wednesday.