Bagel Queen: How Swiatek Absolutely Dominates Her Opponents In 2023

Bagel Queen: How Swiatek Absolutely Dominates Her Opponents In 2023

by Sebastian Dahlman

Iga Swiatek doesn't like to talk about tennis bagels, but she certainly doesn't mind handing them out every now and then.

A bagel in tennis might just be the most disrespectful thing you can do to your opponent in tennis. At least, that's how it looks on paper. There is an argument to be made that you actually honour your opponent by playing your best against him, but still, the zero by a player's name looks rather unfortunate most of the time.

Even so, it happens, though not quite often. It just takes a special kind of performance to smash a player 6-0, but Iga Swiatek has seen a fair share of those performances. She's quite ruthless in that regard, even though she's rather shy talking about it.

Iga's Bakery became a meme earlier this year because, basically, every match features at least one bagel (0) or a breadstick (1) from the Polish player. She also equalled a 20-year-old record earlier this year, proving herself a dominant force one more. She's at 20 bagels right now, more than she had last year (18), and is likely to add a few more by the end of the year.

She's in striking distance of Serena Williams' 25 bagels, which is the most since 2000. She'll unlikely manage the Steffi Graff record of 35 bagels in 1989, but we'll see. Stranger things have happened. So how and why does it happen?

Well, she kind of explained it earlier this year, noting that she doesn't like to lose points, so she tries to win all. By extension, she tries to win all games, and it just happens. Her tremendous movement is part of it because it allows her to really fight for every point.

The shot-making certainly helps, but it's a combination of being competitive and never backing down, even when the score overwhelmingly favours her. It's a rare mindset among players.


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