Roddick Compares 'Phenomenal' Swiatek To Nadal In Footwork Ability

Roddick Compares 'Phenomenal' Swiatek To Nadal In Footwork Ability

by Nurein Ahmed

Iga Swiatek drew glowing praise from former World No. 1 Andy Roddick, who compared her to 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.

Swiatek captured her third Italian Open title on Saturday by beating her rival and World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the final. It was her second win over the Belarusian in as many weeks, and she now heads the list of the most titles by a WTA player this season with four.

But before the match, Roddick dissected Swiatek's game in depth while previewing the women's final on Tennis Channel. The American metaphorically described the 22-year-old's use of her feet in a "Rafian" way, citing Nadal in this example.

Furthermore, Roddick believes Swiatek has the best footwork across both tours due to her quick thinking and clever ability to move almost effortlessly across the baseline.

"When Sabalenka goes big to the corners, if she doesn;t hit perfectly, Iga has this ‘Rafian’ ability to slide, hit and then like in one motion, be a foot back towards the middle."

"I think she has the best footwork that I've seen on men’s and women’s side, this side of Rafa. It's just phenomenal and Iga just has to be able to switch directions."

Swiatek has earned plenty of praise from all corners, thanks to her outstanding skillset. Earlier this season, Germany's Alexander Zverev labeled the Pole a video game cheat code following her undefeated run in singles matches at the United Cup, which brought her the MVP trophy.

With her third Rome title, Swiatek became the third woman to win the Madrid-Rome double, joining Dinara Safina and Serena Williams in that club. If she wins Roland Garros, she will emulate the legendary American's feat from 2013 when she completed the Triple Crown on clay.

Swiatek has now established over a 3000-point gap on second-placed Sabalenka in the rankings and is guaranteed to remain World No. 1 after the French Open irrespective of her result.


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