'Iga Is Becoming Women's Version Of Rafa On Clay': Swiatek Praised By Former Doubles No. 1

'Iga Is Becoming Women's Version Of Rafa On Clay': Swiatek Praised By Former Doubles No. 1

by Zachary Wimer

Iga Swiatek is one of the best clay players we've seen recently, and former player Todd Woodbridge even compared her to Rafael Nadal.

Nadal is the greatest clay player ever, and it's not even close, and it's a statement that is not going to change anytime soon. It's impossible to imagine a player being even remotely as dominant as the Spaniard has been on that surface.

His record at Roland Garros is the best proof of that, as it's the biggest clay tournament in the world. His record on the clay in the French capital is 112-3, and that's just something that may be impossible to match, ever.

Swiatek doesn't have such a record at Roland Garros, yet, but her 28-2 record so far certainly doesn't look too bad. After her most recent back-to-back triumphs in Rome and Madrid, former player Todd Woodbridge had to point out the similarities to the King of Clay.

"Her game is just so well suited (clay). But more than anything for me, it's her ability to slide and move on the surface that is far better than any other female player, and if not, possibly up there with the best, alongside a Steffi Graf."

"She has the best defence on a clay court of any female player currently, and then as soon as she can get back into neutral, with her forehand she has the best offence. How do you beat that?"

'How do you beat that' is a very good question, one that many tennis players haven't quite figured out. Aryna Sabalenka had no chance in Rome, which is a proper clay court.

She fared much better on a relatively unique clay court in Madrid, having match points, but even on that one, she didn't manage to do it.

It's just really tough to beat the Polish player on the red clay, judging by her 135-18 career record on the surface, and that's why Woodbridge thinks that Swiatek can be 'women's version of Rafa.'

"They're champion characteristics, and she has them. Sometimes a player comes along and there is a court and a surface that they own, like Rafa at Roland Garros. Iga is becoming the women's version of Rafa on a clay court."


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