Iga Swiatek recently defended her title in the Italian Open 2022, and with the tournament victory, she extended her tournament winning streak to five. She is also on a 28-match winning streak. She is the top seed in the French Open 2022, her first number 1 ranking for any Grand Slam.
Iga Swiatek is in the best form of her life, and she is very aggressive right from the beginning. So, if there’s any slip up from the opponent, she is right there to grab the opportunity and just keep building on the pressure until the opponent cracks. This is why we have seen such lopsided scores in most of Swiatek’s games. But, former world number 1, Mats Wilander, believes that even with Swiatek in such a glorious form, there might be some chances of upset for the world number 1 at the Roland-Garros.
Iga Swiatek is leading the way for women’s tennis.
Mats Wilander believes that since women’s tennis is played over three sets, some unpredictabilities loom over the players. If a certain player has not found their rhythm in the first hour, they will likely lose the first set and a few breaks in the second. Talking to EuroSport, he said:
“If it was five sets, I would say Iga Swiatek is always the big, big favorite because the level she would play at over five sets, she would always be the big favorite,”
“Because it’s three sets, there are a lot of women that can come out and play unbelievably for 45 minutes to an hour and in that time they could leave Swiatek 6-3 or up a break and suddenly we now need a little bit of luck to turn the match around.“She’s the favourite for sure, but it’s much more difficult to consistently be the favourite over three sets”
Wilander highlighted why he believes that Swiatek is much stronger on the clay with her recent improvements in the game. He said:
“I think there are not that many women that are as comfortable on clay as there are men, Some of that has to do with movement on clay, where you need to slide to cover the entire court. There are not that many women who are quick enough and strong enough who can slide and defend the whole court.”
He said that Swiatek was the first step in the evolution of women’s tennis. She is the first to adapt to the change, and therefore she is miles ahead of the current pack.
“Iga is on the way to where the women’s game is going, which is a little more variety and a little bit more safety, but still extremely aggressive. I expect we will still have lots of different winners in the women’s game because it’s three sets.”
Wilander believes that Iga is without a doubt the biggest favorite going into the French Open 2022, but there might be some surprises as well, like last year when an unseeded Barbora Krejcikova won the title.