Iga Swiatek needs to adjust to being No 1 says former rankings queen

Iga Swiatek Credit: Alamy
Iga Swiatek Credit: Alamy

Chris Evert believes that Iga Swiatek will prove to be a great champion and serial winner if she can keep her emotions in check.

Evert says that Swiatek looks like she might be struggling with having a target on her back.

Swiatek nonetheless bagged her first win of the season in Dubai and will head to the Sunshine Double as the defending champion of both events.

“We know she has the game physically,” Evert told Eurosport.

“We know she’s a great competitor, and she’s a great athlete. She’s got wonderful tools, and a wonderful skill-set in tennis. But it seems like in the matches that she’s lost, that emotional part has broken down.

“[Novak] Djokovic is almost like a machine. He goes out there and, you know, he can just have that tunnel vision and focus and not let his emotions get in the way. I think Iga has shown in some matches that she has let her emotions get the best of her.

“So she would just have to be aware of that, I think. But she is still the player to beat, no matter what you say.

“She will lose once in a while, but she’s still the player to beat, and she does have a target on her back. Nobody understands the pressures of being number one unless you are number one. Nobody understands that, and it does take a while to adjust.”

Evert feels that Swiatek needs to find a way to keep herself calm in the heat of battle.

“I think Iga is an emotional person, and I think the mental and the emotional side of the game will, at times, present challenges to her as it has in the past.

“She’s not a machine. She’s a young woman that feels deeply, and I just think that has been a discipline for her to learn to stay calm in matches and to learn to not panic and to not get anxiety.

“Historically, she has talked about the fact that she gets anxious in life and on the tennis court.”

Evert sill believes that Swiatek is good enough to win nine out ten matches at a canter.

“I think she’s playing better than ever,” explained Evert.

“That was obvious when she had that streak, she was just annihilating her opponents. Then she didn’t play as well against Pegula and maybe didn’t play as well against Krejcikova.

“It’s like every once in a while she’s going to have a match where she’s not 100%, but I still think she is the most dependable player and the most consistent out there.

“Not only that, but she can hurt an opponent with the way she takes the ball early and her athleticism. Her average game, she’s still going to win nine out of 10 matches. So I think she’s playing better than ever.

“She has a sports psychologist on the team because the emotional and the mental part are very important in tennis now, and you just have to know how to manage that. I think she is getting better and better at that.”

READ MORE: Iga Swiatek, Bianca Andreescu, Emma Raducanu in same bracket at Indian Wells

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