Iga Swiatek goals for French Open-Wimbledon double to emulate Serena Williams – however what holds the important thing?

Over the remaining 4 months Iga Swiatek has gave the impression to have the arena at her ft.

Three tournaments gained on arduous courts, adopted by way of 3 on clay, together with the French Open, and a stunning 35-match successful streak that equals Venus Williams’ mark for the most efficient at the WTA Tour this century. “She has one thing, no longer a superpower, however one thing particular,” mentioned global No. 5 Maria Sakkari in April. “She has special hands. She has magic,” added global No. 4 Paula Badosa.

The charisma round Swiatek has endured to develop as she has stacked up win after win.


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Such an charisma has been uncommon in ladies’s tennis over the previous couple of years. Swiatek’s predecessor as global No. 1 Ashleigh Barty seemed to be setting up herself as a possible ‘unbeatable’ power ahead of she retired in April; ahead of her the remaining participant to have any such stranglehold used to be Serena Williams, who may face Swiatek within the first around at Wimbledon after being given a wildcard, and who’s the remaining lady to win the 2 European Grand Slams in the similar season.

Only six different ladies – Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf and 5 males – Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic – have completed the French Open-Wimbledon double within the Open Era.

In contemporary years the transition to grass has no longer been too sort to French Open champions both.

Since Williams gained each, in conjunction with the Australian Open, in 2015, Simona Halep misplaced within the 3rd around at Wimbledon in 2018 after successful the French Open. The following 12 months Barty used to be overwhelmed within the fourth around at Wimbledon after triumphing in Paris. Wimbledon used to be no longer held when Swiatek first gained the French Open in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, however remaining 12 months’s Roland-Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova misplaced within the fourth around at SW19 in 2021.

There are a number of explanation why it is so tough.

Firstly: time. The excursion switches immediately from clay to grass after the French Open and there are simply 3 weeks to arrange at the floor for Wimbledon. Even despite the fact that this is longer than prior to now – it was once only a fortnight – the ones 3 weeks are most likely the one time, out of doors of Wimbledon, that almost all gamers will compete on grass in all the season. Swiatek has no longer performed competitively on grass but this summer time after pulling out of Berlin with a shoulder factor.

The transition is made trickier by way of the diversities within the stipulations. While grass isn’t as speedy and serve-volley pleasant because it used to be as soon as used to be, the ball nonetheless comes via sooner and less than on clay. That method much less time for giant backswings and no more time to recuperate between pictures. Heavy topspin pictures, which Swiatek hits a large number of the time on her forehand, also are no longer as efficient on grass as they’re on clay.

“With the lower bounces, it’s a crapshoot,” nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova instructed the WTA Tour.

“You cannot be taking such a massive swing. If you get a bad bounce, you can’t adjust to it. You have to shorten everything, maybe a little bit lower backswing, maybe a little bit shorter backswing, a little more inside the court.

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“Also the cadence is a little bit different with the shorter bounce. The ball comes back quicker, so there’s less time between shots to get ready for the next shot. So you have to be in slightly better cardio shape to keep that intensity getting to the ball.”

While from the outset Swiatek would possibly glance extra prone, it’s notable that even supposing maximum French Open ladies’s winners have did not tack on a Wimbledon name in the similar 12 months, a number of gamers have gained each tournaments in shut succession.

Halep used to be victorious at Wimbledon in 2019, having gained the French Open the former 12 months. Barty used to be champion on the All England Club in 2021 after successful in Paris in 2019. Garbine Muguruza gained the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon the 12 months after.

Iga Swiatek Wimbledon 2021

Image credit score: Getty Images

It would virtually proceed the fad if Swiatek gained Wimbledon this time round, having misplaced within the fourth around remaining 12 months as 2020 French Open champion. The global No. 1 has had good fortune on the event ahead of, successful the junior ladies’ name in 2018. And the large hole between herself and the remainder of the sector (a gulf displayed as 4,120 issues between first position and 2nd position within the WTA ratings, and four,300 issues from first to 2nd at the Race to the WTA Finals ratings) means that Swiatek most likely doesn’t even need to be at her perfect to win Wimbledon.

Even if she drops off a little she is going to almost certainly nonetheless be excellent sufficient to overcome maximum of her opponents, particularly as the contest appears to be suffering to seek out tactics to overcome her at this time.

Swiatek has described grass as “tricky”, however may have assist looking to grasp it from her trainer Tomasz Wiktorowski, who used to be with every other Pole, Agnieszka Radwanska, throughout her run to the Wimbledon ultimate in 2012. Wiktorowski says he has without a doubt that Swiatek can adapt to the outside.

“The key is a different bounce of the ball from the surface, much lower on grass,” he instructed Rzeczpospolita.

“Navigating the court is different too, but that’s not what I’m worried about at all. Iga will have to use slightly different directions when hitting the ball, as well as in the serve, in the context of the balance between the slice service and the kick service. She has the best kick-serve in the world, but it doesn’t always work on grass.

“So if we lose here, we have to add something else. But one thing is beyond doubt: Iga can play on the grass, because she has reached the fourth round of Wimbledon. We will only try to make small modifications that should make her life easier on this surface.

“Iga has enough strengths to also win on grass.”

As Wiktorowski issues out, Swiatek confirmed remaining 12 months that she will play on grass by way of making the fourth around at SW19 in spectacular taste, handiest shedding 5 video games in the second one and 3rd rounds mixed. And even defeat to Ons Jabeur used to be a part of a studying enjoy. “This grass season is really a positive for me and it gave me a lot,” mentioned Swiatek afterwards. “I hope I’m going to use that in future years.”

Swiatek ‘proud’ of French Open name and ‘doing greater than Serena’

Jabeur, who bounced again from her surprise first-round French Open go out with victory on grass in Berlin remaining week, may well be certainly one of Swiatek’s greatest opponents at Wimbledon, in conjunction with French Open runner-up Coco Gauff, who has made the fourth around in each her earlier appearances, and Karolina Pliskova, who misplaced to Barty within the ultimate remaining 12 months. Williams’ surprise go back additionally spices up the draw and a primary occupation assembly between the 23-time Grand Slam champion and Swiatek can be extremely intriguing.

Williams is a seven-time champion at Wimbledon however hasn’t ever entered the event in any such wealthy vein of shape as Swiatek, whose successful streak has the prospective to stretch to 42 fits if she wins Wimbledon, above Roger Federer’s best-ever effort of 41, and one in the back of Djokovic’s ideally suited of 43.

For the previous couple of months the query has been who can forestall Swiatek, now it’s: can the transfer to grass forestall her? The remainder of the excursion might be hoping it a minimum of ranges the enjoying box a little.

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Watch day by day highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, in addition to the 2 singles finals survive July 9 and 10.


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