Iga Swiatek needs a plan to take down power players

Iga Swiatek

Former world No 1 Chris Evert believes that Iga Swiatek and her coaching team need to find a way for her to beat power players like Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka.

Evert believes that Swiatek’s defeats have been blown out of proportion though, which she feels is creating a mental health problem for the star.

She called for an easing of expectations for Swiatek in a recent chat with Eurosport.

“I think we’re at fault. The press, journalists, and TV commentators are at fault because we talk about her dominance and let’s be careful with this,” Evert said.

“But when she has numbers like that [37-game streak in 2022], it appears that she’s dominating, and that’s going to put pressure on anybody.”

That said, Evert still believes that the emergence of Sabalenka and Rybakina as big match players poses a significant challenge for Swiatek.

She says that Swiatek’s struggles have been blown out of proportion but her two losses to Rybakina have still set the alarm bells ringing.

Evert added: “But at the same time, I think two players, in particular, have emerged: Sabalenka with the improved serve, even though the serve let her down at Indian Wells, was playing with more focus. She’s a different player this year. And then Rybakina, she’s solid as a rock and she’s got such great technique that very little can go wrong under pressure,” she said.

“We’re so quick to say someone’s dominant and then we’re so quick to say ‘Oh, they’re in trouble. What do you think? Their career is in trouble?’ No, Iga is still the No. 1 player in the world. No matter how you look at it, she still is the player to beat.”

“Iga wins 99% of her matches playing like Iga. But against the power players, she and her coach have to devise a plan. But I’m sure they’re going to go back to the drawing board and figure it out,” she added.

Swiatek will miss out on the Miami Open after aggravating a rib injury between tournaments.

She has suffered four losses in 20 matches so far this season going down in her United Cup match against Jessica Pegula at the start of the year before the first of her two losses to Rybakina.

Swiatek also lost the Dubai Tennis Championships final against Barbora Krejcikova in her other loss this term.

Her only title of the season so far came in Qatar but she still sports an enormous lead at the top of the rankings.

READ MORE: Iga Swiatek pulls out of Miami Open and BJK Cup with injury