World No. 1 Iga Swiatek silenced all the doubters with a hattrick of WTA-1000 titles after having had a tough 2021 season. The Pole has been phenomenal this season having reached the semi-finals of all the events except one and is by far the most consistent and dominant player right now.
With Ash Barty‘s sudden retirement and subsequent removal from the WTA rankings, it was Iga who rose to the top of the rankings. With many believing that it was Barty’s retirement that saw the Pole become the World No. 1, titles in Sunshine Double and a lead of more than 1500 points in the rankings, Swiatek showed that she is fully deserving to be the top-ranked player and former World No. 1 Chris Evert even believes that the 20-year old would have eventually overtaken the Australian.
“I always thought it was very difficult to play seven games in a row at a Grand Slam to be at a high level, but she played 16. To manage to play 16 games in a row on this ground, with this depth game in women, without having a real low, without having a drop in revs, that’s almost unheard of in women and that’s what makes her so special and that’s what makes her the world number one. I think even if Ashleigh Barty hadn’t retired, Iga would have reached the No. 1 spot. What impresses me about her – just like Alcaraz – is her hunger.
“I keep coming back to hunger, but she wants to do it so badly, she wants it so badly and she’s so committed to the game that she forces herself to be in the moment and she’s in every point. And it is her mental strength that propels her to the top. She is by far the strongest player mentally, she is on another level,” said Evert speaking with Eurosport.
Chris Evert points out Iga Swiatek’s biggest strengths
Having shown an all-round performance across surfaces and improving her game in the process, Evert also pointed out what makes Iga stand out among her colleagues on the Tour that has seen her dominate so easily this season as she became the first woman ever to win the first three WTA-1000 titles of the season.
“Game-wise, she has such explosive movement. She has explosive shots, shot-making. The way her mindset has changed from a counter puncher to an aggressive player with the help of her new coach. I think the new coaching has helped. I think what impresses me is I haven’t seen anybody that has excelled defensively as well as offensively. She’s got both those components. And the way she steps into the court and attacks every ball with consistency is an asset that she has.
“So again, melding, putting together the physical and the mental strengths, makes me believe that she is not a one-time Grand Slam winner. She’s going to be double digits. She’s looking at a long career and she’s viewing it as an adventure, as a positive adventure and not looking at the pitfalls. Her attitude is wonderful. So I would say just keep doing what she’s doing and just know that players will be after you, but also know that there’s a reason why you’re No. 1 because you’re the best player and don’t lose sight of that,” concluded Evert.