All eyes are on rising tennis star Iga Świątek

You probably can’t pronounce Iga Świątek, but you should get to know her name.

Driving the news: Świątek — pronounced shvi-ahn-tek in Polish and svi-ah-tik in English – picked up a first-round victory Monday at Roland Garros for his 29th consecutive win.

  • It is the fourth longest WTA streak this century, behind Venus Williams in 2000 (35), Serena Williams in 2013 (34) and Justine Henin in 2007-08 (32).
  • Wild Stat: The 20-year-old has won 44 of her last 45 sets, 25 of which 6-0 or 6-1.

The backdrop: Świątek’s journey began in Warsaw, Poland, where his father Tomasz, a 1988 Olympic rower, the thrust into competitive sports and led her into a successful career in youth tennis.

  • She burst onto the scene in 2020 by winning the French Open, becoming the youngest female major singles champion since 2004 and the first Polish singles major champion (male or female).
  • She won twice more in 2021 but took her game to new heights this year, becoming the first Polish woman to reach No. 1 after No. 1 Ash Barty’s surprise retirement in March.

Between the lines: Świątek modeled his game on his idol, Rafael Nadal, so his success at Roland Garros is no coincidence. But she recently added a new element that helps her dominate on all surfaces.

  • Rather than relying on her Nadal-style forehand, she attacks earlier and is lethal against serves, winning more than half of her return matches this season – by far the most in the top 10.
  • Świątek also attributes much of her success to her sports psychologist, Daria Abramowicz, who joins her at every tournament and helps her stay mentally focused.

What they say : “A lot of respect for Iga”, Marta Kostyuk told the New Yorker. “The way she plays, thinks, talks…I think it’s great when someone like that is directing.”

Look forward: With many top players go out early at Roland Garros, Świątek is the big favorite to win his second major.

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