The 9 players who have defeated Iga Swiatek on clay: Featuring a 45-minute demolition by a former world No 1

Shahida Jacobs
Iga Swiatek reaction
Iga Swiatek reacts during her tennis match

Iga Swiatek is considered the reigning Queen of Clay as she has an incredible 88% win record on the red dirt having suffered only 10 defeats at WTA Tour level on the surface.

The four-time Grand Slam winner has won eight trophies on the terre battue with her most recent one coming at the 2024 Madrid Open as she completed her European clay-court title set.

Three of those titles have come at Roland Garros (2020, 2022, 2023), two have come at the WTA 1000 Italian Open (2021, 2022), two at the WTA 500 Stuttgart Open (2022, 2023) and the 2024 WTA 1000 Madrid Open.

Swiatek’s run in the Spanish capital helped her to clay-court win-loss record to 71–10 (ahead of the 2024 Italian Open) with her record per season to date reading: 7–3 (2019), 7–1 (2020), 12–2 (2021), 18–1 (2022), 19–2 (2023) and 8–1 (2024).

So who are the players to defeat Swiatek on her favourite red dirt surface?

Elena Rybakina – 2024, 2023

2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina is the only player to defeat Swiatek twice on clay and she has also notched up the last two wins over the Pole.

The Kazakh player denied Swiatek a hat-trick of Stuttgart Open titles as she beat her in the semi-final in 2024, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Her other win came via retirement at the Italian Open in 2023 as Swiatek quit during the third set of their quarter-final match in Rome due to a thigh injury with the score 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 2-2.

Aryna Sabalenka – 2023

Two-time Australian Open champion Sabalenka claimed her only win over Swiatek on clay at the Madrid Open when she denied the Pole in three sets in the final, winning 3–6, 6–3, 3–6.

Swiatek, of course, turned the tables at the 2024 edition as she won 7–5, 4–6, 7–6 (9–7) in over three hours having saved three match points.

Caroline Garcia – 2022

Frenchwoman Garcia denied Swiatek a title on home soil as she defeated the home favourite in the quarter-final of the Poland Open in the city of her birth, Warsaw.

Garcia, who went on to win the title, was seeded fifth and she upset the top-seeded Swiatek 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in two hours and 17 minutes.

Maria Sakkari – 2021

Maria Sakkari is one of only two players to have beaten Swiatek at Roland Garros as the Greek notched up the achievement in the quarter-final in 2021 as she beat the defending champion 6-4, 6-4.

Ashleigh Barty – 2021

Then world No 1 Ashleigh Barty beat rising star Swiatek 7-5, 6-4 in the round of 16 at the Madrid Open with the match the second shortest defeat on clay for the Pole as it lasted one hour and 35 minutes.

Barty ended Swiatek’s run of 18 consecutive sets on the surface and she paid Swiatek the ultimate compliment after the match saying: “I love the way that she plays. I love the way she takes the game on. She plays without fear. I think the way she controls the court, has the ability to move and neutralise from a defensive position is very, very impressive.”

Arantxa Rus – 2020

Swiatek made her Italian Open main draw debut in September 2021 with the tournament moved to later in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But her campaign lasted only one match as she went down 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 against qualifier Arantxa Rus in the first round. It was Swiatek’s only defeat on clay that year as she went on to win Roland Garros a few months later. To be fair, she only played in Rome and Paris on clay in 2020.

Simona Halep – 2019

Iga Swiatek made her Roland Garros main draw debut in 2019 and she notched up two straight-set wins and a three-set victory to reach the fourth round.

However, she ran into an inspired Simona Halpe as the defending champion demolished her 6-1, 6-0 in only 45 minutes in the shortest completed defeat of her career.

Karolina Muchova – 2019

The 2019 season was a learning curve for Swiatek as she qualified for the Prague Open to set up a clash against wildcard Karolina Muchova.

They battled for two hours and 33 minutes before Muchova emerged victorious with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win. Swiatek, of course, went on to defeat Muchova in the 2023 French Open final.

Polona Hercog – 2019

An 18-year-old Iga Swiatek made her WTA Tour-level clay-court debut at the Ladies Open Lugano in Switzerland in April 2019 and she won her first four matches to reach her maiden final.

The then world No 115 came up against Polona Hercog in the showpiece match of the WTA 250 event and the Slovenian came away with the 3–6, 6–3, 3–6 win and the title as she handed Swiatek her first defeat on clay at WTA level.

However, Swiatek suffered seven defeats on clay at lower levels before her loss against Hercog.