Iga Swiatek has embraced the pressure that comes with being world number one and will go to Roland Garros as a strong favorite to clinch a second major title, tennis great Martina Navratilova has claimed. After replacing Ash Barty at the top of the world rankings following the Australian’s surprise retirement in March, Swiatek has seemingly reveled in her status as the top women’s player.
The 20-year-old Pole won her first Grand Slam title on the red clay of Roland Garros in 2020 and arrived in Paris having won five consecutive titles, including four WTA 1000 events, and 28 consecutive matches. “You can’t be sexier than her right now,” 18-time Grand Slam winner Navratilova told the WTA. “She’s playing very well and she’s healthy – it’s a fantastic combination. She’s fresh and tough at the same time.
“She looks pretty unbeatable on any surface, especially on clay now. So we have an overwhelming favorite for the French women when it was wide open last year. “Obviously the pressure don’t bother her. She just kisses it. It’s great to see – when you’re the favorite and you keep winning.”
Australian Sam Stosur, who won the US Open in 2011 and reached the final at Roland Garros the year before, said Swiatek’s confidence was at an all-time high and she was currently the strongest in the world mentally . “If you win back-to-back titles, you feel amazing, that confidence grows,” Stosur told the Australian Open website.
“No matter what happens, you’re going to walk out on that pitch and think you’re going to win every game. And I think (the feeling) just builds and builds and builds.” small weakness, or any small doubt, fades each time she enters the field with another victory. I think it’s pretty tough to get past someone who’s been so dominant the last two months on tour…and win a lot of those games relatively comfortably.”
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