Draw Curse: Swiatek Brutally Unlucky In 2024 With Hardest-Possible Draws

Draw Curse: Swiatek Brutally Unlucky In 2024 With Hardest-Possible Draws

by Nurein Ahmed

Iga Swiatek is playing her third tournament of the 2024 season, and data collected from tennis statisticians prove she has faced the toughest opponents by far.

Swiatek's season actually began before the turn of the year on December 30th at the United Cup, where she took part in the second edition of the mixed-team tournament. The 22-year-old was part of the Poland squad that reached the final, losing agonizingly to Germany.

Swiatek won all five of her singles matches at the United Cup, but one glaring stat from the tournament is that she faced the top-ranked player from the unseeded countries, that being Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia (who was World No. 11 at the time) in her first match.

But the four-time Grand Slam champion sauntered past the lefty 6-2, 6-2. Swiatek then traveled to Melbourne to play this year's Australian Open. The Polish star was handed a tricky draw, being paired with the highest-ranked unseeded player at the tournament - Sofia Kenin.

The American had won in Melbourne before, in 2020, and contested the French Open final that year, losing to Swiatek. But despite Kenin's slump in the subsequent two seasons, she appeared to have turned a corner, hence her recent renaissance.

By comparison, Swiatek's rivals, like Aryna Sabalenka, Coco Gauff, and Elena Rybakina, faced lesser-ranked opposition to kick off their Australian Open campaigns. Swiatek eventually dug out a hard-fought win over Sofia Kenin and prevailed over former finalist Danielle Collins in the second round.

However, she hit a wall in the third round as Czech teenager Linda Noskova shocked her. After taking three weeks away from the grind, she is back in competition this week, playing in the first WTA 1000 tournament of the season at the Qatar Open.

And the draws keep getting tougher. Swiatek received a bye in the first round by virtue of being the top seed but drew the highest-ranked unseeded player in the field - Sorana Cirstea - in her second-round match.

But despite the brutal luck of the draw, Swiatek has been in fine fettle, beating the Romanian 6-1, 6-1 to begin her title defense in the perfect manner.


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