‘I don’t think anyone can overpower Iga Swiatek on a clay court,’ says analyst on defending champion

Iga Swiatek is taking on the challenge of defending her Roland Garros title in her stride says former player Mats Wilander.

Swiatek was the surprise 2020 French Open winner, and in doing so became the first Polish player to win a Grand Slam and also the youngest singles title winner at the tournament since Rafael Nadal in 2005.

After the win, all eyes were on the 20-year-old to see if she could follow up the success at other events and on different surfaces and it would be fair to say her season so far has been inconsistent.

Swiatek failed to make an impact in Miami, Madrid or Dubai and only reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open. However, she also won in Adelaide and took the Italian Open title in Rome just two weeks before the start of Roland Garros.

Entering the French Open with the added pressure of defending her first Grand Slam title, questions arose over how the world number nine would cope but Wilander, tennis analyst for Eurosport thinks she is surprising everyone.

“I think Iga has proven that defending her title is not a worry to her,” said Wilander.

“Am I surprised how well she has taken on the challenge of defending her title? I guess we are a little surprised.

“In ten years when she has won four or five Roland-Garros titles we will know there was no reason to be surprised.”

Swiatek is yet to drop a set at this years tournament as she has breezed through her first two matches, and Wilander says he is struggling to see who could overpower her.

“I think she is very mature on the court, her game is extremely mature,” says Wilander.

“I think the question for her is whether she can be a better player on faster courts. She has more time on the clay where she moves and slides well, on the hard court or grass court it’s a little more tougher for her and her forehand becomes a little bit of a weakness.

“But on clay, I don’t know who could overpower her on a clay court.”

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