John McEnroe points out key areas that Iga Swiatek needs to improve after US Open exit

Iga Swiatek in action

John McEnroe admits he was “surprised” to see Iga Swiatek lose against Jelena Ostapenko after holding an early advantage, adding there are several facets that the Pole must add to her game.

Swiatek has always struggled against the hard-hitting Ostapenko with the Latvian winning their previous three encounters before Sunday’s fourth-round clash at the US Open.

However, the four-time Grand Slam winner made a decent start against the 20th seed as she won the opening set. Ostapenko, though, stormed back to win the second set and ended up dishing out a breadstick in the decider as she won 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

During the post-match press conference, Swiatek said she has to work on her game if she is to solve the Ostapenko puzzle, but former world No 1 McEnroe had some advice for her.

“I think she needs to improve her game at the net, moving forward. I don’t think she’s that confident at net,” the American great told Eurosport.

“I don’t think she uses the slice shot as much as she could, although I think that she could easily learn this. I think her serve is a little shaky, her second serve [could do with] a little bit more variety.

“Whether she had won that match or not, I think all the top players have to continue to try to add to their game. And that’s something that I’m sure that she knew before the match.”

Swiatek, who lost the world No 1 ranking to Aryna Sabalenka on the back of her defeat, has always found it tough going against power players like Ostapenko, Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina and despite her good start against the Latvian, the Pole looked a little “unsure of herself” at times.

McEnroe added: “I turned on the match and Swiatek was winning and won the first set. So I was like, ‘OK, maybe she’s figured it out’.

“Then I don’t know what happened, her level dropped and she didn’t seem to be able to adapt, to do anything different. And then she looked like she started to get unsure of herself, not sure what to do.

“And Ostapenko plays with a lot of pace – you don’t know what you’re going to get except the ball is going to come at you hard.

“Even though she had a 3-0 record against Iga, I thought she [Swiatek] was going to win that match. I was surprised she lost 6-1 in the third set.”

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