Iga Swiatek out of Berlin Open with shoulder niggle but still Wimbledon favourite

Iga Swiatek talks to the press

Iga Swiatek will skip the Berlin Open as she attempts to recover from a shoulder niggle.

The World No 1 has given no indication of when she will start her grass court season.

After playing a lot of tennis so far this year Swiatek feels that rest is the top priority to get in the best shape for Wimbledon.

“I will focus on recovery and rest in order to be ready for Wimbledon,” Swiatek said as she announced her withdrawal.

Swiatek is on a 35-match winning streak and hasn’t looked like losing on the WTA Tour since the retirement of Ashleigh Barty.

However, Swiatek doesn’t have the best record on grass and at Wimbledon, where her best performance has seen her reach the fourth round.

Former Junior Wimbledon champion Barbara Rittner believes it will be a challenge for Swiatek to adjust to grass.

“The biggest challenge now is the grass. Iga has shown what she is able to do on hard courts, has impressively proven that she can continue seamlessly on clay,” she said on Eurosport Podcast Das Gelbe vom Ball.

“Clay has always been her best surface. On grass, she lost to Ons Jabeur in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year – admittedly in three sets, but 1-6 and 1-6 in the second and third set. On the other hand, she won the youth tournament there in in 2018 as well.

“So, it will be interesting to see how she manages the switch to grass now and whether she can bring that focus and that dominant way of playing to the next surface.”

Rittner still thinks Swiatek is the favourite given the progress in her game and her mental strength.

“It was remarkable how she managed to deal with these unbelievably high expectations at just 21 years of age,” she said.

“She has given the last proof of how good she is and what she is able to achieve. She showed that she can find ways to deal with difficult situations even during the tournament.

“She didn’t play her best tennis from the start, and struggled a bit in the third round, then didn’t win so easily afterwards, but then played her very best tennis in the semi-final and final – she didn’t give Jessica Pegula or Coco Gauff the slightest chance.

“She herself described what the title means to her, how valuable it is. In doing so, she impressively underlined the dominant role the No. 1 in world tennis is in right now, not only in terms of her game, but also mentally.”