Swiatek Told To Try 'Risky' Strategy That Worked For Sinner To Catch Up With Sabalenka

Swiatek Told To Try 'Risky' Strategy That Worked For Sinner To Catch Up With Sabalenka

by Zachary Wimer

Iga Swiatek is currently the best player on the WTA Tour, but there are still things she can improve.

Two years ago, Swiatek became world number one by absolutely outplaying everybody. She was by far the best player in the world because she played amazing tennis for much of the year.

Last year, she continued playing amazing tennis, but this time around, others caught up with her. She even lost her world number one to Aryna Sabalenka, though she would reclaim it by the end of the year to finish as world number one once more.

Constantly improving is paramount in tennis, and one area she could improve a lot in is her serve. It's good; it's good enough, however, it could be much better. It could be a proper weapon like it is for Sabalenka and some other players, and that should be a goal.

However, it's not easy to do because tinkering with a player's technique is quite risky. Former player Andrea Petkovic knows it well, and she talked about it on a recent episode of the Inside In podcast.

When I see somebody tinkering with whichever shot it is in their arsenal, it makes me really nervous because I know the feeling you have when you all of a sudden don’t feel a shot and you don’t know where it’s going to go at times.

Despite the risk, Petkovic thinks it would be great for her as she's clearly lacking in that department compared to Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina.

"For, Iga being No 1 in the world for a while now but exchanging that place with Aryna Sabalenka, it’s really great to see and fascinating to watch because she knows she feels the other players breathing down her neck, especially Aryna Sabalenka, so she knows she has to keep evolving and developing her game."

"The one thing that she doesn’t have compared to Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina is that big serve that can get her a lot of free points."

It's obviously been done before as Petkovic used the example of Jannik Sinner. He changed his serve, improving it quite a bit, and it totally opened up his game even more. There was a period of struggle, though, as he was getting used to it.

"An example on the ATP Tour, Jannik Sinner did the same thing. It cost him the French Open – he lost in the first or second round in five sets – and everyone was like ‘oh what is happening to Jannik’ but they were tinkering with his serve."

"They [Sinner’s team] were trying the thing where he doesn’t move his right leg up. Then they went back to that and all of a sudden it clicked together and now he seems to be unbeatable."

"For the past few months, he has been the player on the ATP Tour to beat. Hopefully, the same thing will happen for Iga too. But it is risky and it is always the question ‘do you go ahead, do you try and do it?’ or do you stick with what you have, especially when you have already won major tournaments."


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