Mats Wilander details why losing No. 1 spot can be 'best thing' for Iga Swiatek game

After 75 consecutive weeks at No. 1, Swiatek is set to be ranked at No. 2.

by Dzevad Mesic
Mats Wilander details why losing No. 1 spot can be 'best thing' for Iga Swiatek game
© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

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.

Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Elsa

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.

Mats Wilander Iga Swiatek