'Kind Of A Similar Person To Me': Swiatek Welcomes Graff Comparisons

'Kind Of A Similar Person To Me': Swiatek Welcomes Graff Comparisons

by Nurein Ahmed

Iga Swiatek felt honored and humbled to be mentioned in the same band as 22-time women's Grand Slam champion Steffi Graf.

Graf is considered one of the best female tennis players of all time and holds a multitude of tennis records, some of which have stood the test of time. She held the No. 1 ranking for a total of 377 weeks, which is a record on the WTA Tour.

The German tennis icon is the only player across both tours to have won the calendar Golden Slam, the colossal achievement of winning all four Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal in the same year.

Graf became a fan favorite during her career and built a reputation as the most dominant champion of her generation thanks to her incredible forehand, exceptional work ethic, and supreme athleticism.

It's not a surprise that Swiatek, the current WTA No. 1, has been compared to Graf not just because of employing the German's on-court skillset and mindset but also shying away from the public eye when outside the tennis ecosystem.

"Well, I did. She's a great champion, and it's just nice that anybody would compare me to her (smiling), because I feel like -- I don't know her, but I feel like maybe she was kind of a similar person to me because she also likes to keep her privacy, and now you can see that she's just enjoying life and she knows that she worked hard to have a little bit of peace, you know, right now."

The Pole was speaking after her quarterfinal victory over Marketa Vondrousova at Roland Garros. The 23-year-old opined that she doesn't possess Graf's tennis toolbox and explained that comparing two different eras is always subjective.

"I also heard from some people on tour that she was also kind of like an introvert, really in the zone and just focusing on tennis and what she wants to do. That's what I heard tennis-wise. I mean, it's kind of hard to compare because these were totally different times. Probably I don't have such a good slice as her and volleys, but it's nice that anybody would compare me to her, because she's great."


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