World No. 1 Iga Swiatek is about to start her campaign on the Clay which is her favourite surface. Having won the 2020 French Open and the 2021 Italian Open smashing records in both tournaments, she is quite a force on the surface. With her ascension to the top of the WTA rankings, one can expect a lot more success for the Pole.
As Iga prepares to play her first tournament as the top-ranked player, World No. 13 and American No. 2 Jessica Pegula addressed the mood in the WTA Tour about taking on the No. 1, especially on the Clay surface. But the American also emphasised that Iga is not just a one-track horse and she can dominate opponents on other surfaces as well.
“I’m sure everyone else is thinking, “Oh crap.” It’s like when Rafa started learning how to play on grass and you were like, “Oh, shoot, we’re all in trouble. She won junior Wimbledon, so obviously she can play on grass. So that’s also another scary thought, that we even have to think about that,” said Pegula speaking with the WTA Insider.
Jessica Pegula talks about the challenge of Clay
While Pegula has managed to rise with good performances on the hardcourts, the same cannot be said about her performance on the Clay where she has struggled for the past few seasons. Currently, with a 94-64 record on the surface, Jessica talked about her plans for this season on the Golden Swing having been in good form.
“It’s a new challenge right away. I had one day back home and then drove straight here. It’s already presenting a bunch of new challenges mentally and physically that I’m going to have to deal with starting when I play doubles. It’s crazy how it can be such a quick turnaround. But I think again, trying to stay present, keep an open mind about what I need to do a little bit differently on clay and what I need to keep the same. And I think, too, just not letting it frustrate me.
“Maybe the bounces aren’t as good, points can be longer, not getting frustrated with the different conditions because it’s a long season. Some people can get really frustrated on the clay. I actually grew up in this area. I don’t hate clay by any means. I think I have become more of a hard-court player, but sometimes I think I have to remind myself that I grew up playing on clay, especially the green clay. It’s not the end of the world that it’s a clay-court season like some people make it out to be. You can still play good tennis,” concluded Pegula.