'She Plays More Like A Guy': Pegula Dissects Swiatek's Nadal-Inspired Game

'She Plays More Like A Guy': Pegula Dissects Swiatek's Nadal-Inspired Game

by Zachary Wimer

Iga Swiatek is the number one in women's tennis right now, and according to a fellow top player, Jessica Pegula, she plays a style that's more similar to men's tennis than women's.

These comparisons were made before for multiple players because women's tennis pivots to a very powerful style. It's a general trend in tennis because both men and women generally play with more power today than years ago.

Pegula spoke with NBC Sports recently, admitting that Swiatek is a player who likely modeled her game after her idol Rafael Nadal. That's not a huge surprise because she mentions the Spaniard frequently and, much like him, is a typical clay player. That's where she plays her best tennis, which shows in her game, according to Pegula.

"Yeah, I've played her on clay, on hard. I mean, she is a claycourter. That's what she models her game after. She modeled it after Rafa. That was her idol, right? So, hitting that heavy topspin, her athleticism, I think her ability to turn defense into offense. Not only her defense, but her ability to get in and out of the corner so quickly and then turn the point and take the ball early. I think it's something special."

Her tennis is certainly quite special because she's been dominating for about two years now. Ever since Ashleigh Barty retired, we haven't really seen somebody challenge her properly outside of Aryna Sabalenka for a brief time.

"And then on clay, she just has more time to do that. It just caters [to] her game with kind of heavy topspin, and she plays more like a guy, to be more honest. I feel like it's a little bit more like that."

"Just heavier topspin, she doesn't necessarily just hit it flat, and I think again, her movement and her athleticism is really good."


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