Swiatek finished last season very strongly by winning two big events. Many people assumed that she would do the same at the start of this year, and while she was unbeaten at the United Cup, the Polish player was beaten in Australia.
It was a tricky matchup against Linda Noskova, and she couldn't really handle it. The interesting part about that match was that Noskova actually outhit the Pole, which doesn't happen often.
Part of that might be due to Swiatek's serve, which was never her best weapon, especially not after she reworked it in the offseason. Speaking on the Tennis Channel, former WTA player Martina Navratilova didn't back Swiatek's new serve.
"I'm not thrilled with Iga’s new serve, it looks awkward. And I just don't see that she's getting any more out of it and it just looks really uncomfortable. And she needs to get more free points, that's where she can improve the most I think, with her serve."
The one thing Swiatek lacks compared to Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka is a great serve. They have their troubles with the serve often but can at least get several free points out of it. That's not the case for Swiatek, who has to generally work for points but can also be attacked on the serve.
Noskova demonstrated that pretty well, but she's not the only one. Both Sabalenka and Rybakina have beaten Swiatek in the past, and a lack of a great first serve certainly contributed to that.
"I just don't like it, it will not repeat itself under pressure because she just kind of goes and stops. It's just not fluid at all. And when you're not fluid, when you stop, when you get nervous, you stop at different places and then you just don't get that rhythm."
"So I think she can tinker with that serve, go back closer to what she was like, maybe change it up a little bit but has to be fluid. It's not, it's really awkward looking."