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Iga Natalia Świątek – Style of Play, Achievements, Rivalries,

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Iga Natalia Świątek - Style of Play, Achievements, Rivalries,

Full name – Iga Natalia Świątek

Date of Birth – 31 May 2001

Nationality – Polish

Role – Right-Handed, Two-Handed Backhand (Aggressive all-court player)

Coach – Piotr Sierzputowski

Current Ranking – No. 9

Highest Ranking – No. 9 (17 May 2021)

Career Earnings – US$3,572,234

Win/Loss – 129/36

WTA Titles – 3

Grand Slams – 1

 

About

Born on 31 May 2001, Iga Świątek is the youngest player in the top ten of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings and has a career-high ranking of No. 9 in the world. Daughter of an Olympian, Świątek was the 2018 French Open girls’ doubles champion alongside Caty McNally, and the 2018 Wimbledon girls’ singles champion.

Świątek began regularly playing in the WTA Tour in 2019, the same year she made her tour debut. Her progress to a WTA event final and a fourth-round exit at the French Open, where she was defeated by Simona Halep, propelled her ranking inside the Top 50 at the age of just 18. It was, however, during the 2020 French Open, that the then 19-year-old shone through. Iga rebounded to defeat the top-seeded Simona Halep in the same round and during her dominant title run did not drop a single set or lose more than five games in any of her matches.

 

Best Finishes at each Grand Slam

  • Australian Open: 4R (2020, 2021)
  • Roland Garros: Champion (2020)
  • Wimbledon: 1R (2019)
  • US Open: 3R (2020)

 

Style of Play

Świątek has an aggressive, all-court playing style and incorporates a lot of variety in her game. As her game is based on offence, she generates both a lot of winners and a lot of unforced errors at the same time. Despite her aggressive approach, Iga patiently builds her points until she creates an opening to hit a winner.

During her title-winning run at the 2020 French Open, she hit 175 winners and 127 unforced errors. Her forehand and backhand are fast and powerful. Her average forehand speed was 127km/h, faster than any other female player and only behind Jannik Sinner, while her backhand peaked at 122km/h at the French Open, again faster than any other female player and equal to Dominic Thiem’s backhand speed (Thiem possessed the fastest backhand of any male player in the tournament).

 

Rivalries

The past two winners of the French Open have been Ashleigh Barty and Iga Świątek. They have a little rivalry that culminated in the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open when Barty comfortably won in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Despite the win, Ashleigh would be aware that she has a rival for the future in Iga.

“I really enjoyed myself out there tonight. I enjoyed the challenge. Iga’s game is exceptional,” Barty said. This kind of praise is rare from Ashleigh, who is typically quiet about her opponents. It further solidifies that Iga is a special talent to get Ashleigh’s attention.

Women’s tennis has been defined by either Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova’s success over the last two decades. With Barty being 25 and Iga 19, the tennis fanbase is in for a long ride, what with Naomi Osaka and Cori Gauff also getting better with each tournament. It is the reminiscent of the ATP Tour’s Quartet of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray.

 

Significant Records & Awards

  • First Polish player to win a Grand Slam singles title.
  • Youngest French Open Champion since Rafael Nadal in 2005.
  • Youngest women’s singles Grand Slam champion since Monica Seles in 1992.
  • Was awarded the WTA Fan Favorite Shot of the Year in 2019
  • Was voted the WTA Fan Favorite Singles Player of the Year in 2020.
  • Was awarded the WTA Most Improved Player title in 2020.
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