Former British tennis pro Mark Petchey recently shared some kind words for World No. 1 Iga Swiatek on social media.
Swiatek rose to fame after winning the 2020 French Open but kept a relatively low profile the following season. However, 2022 was definitely Swiatek’s year as she added two more Major titles to her trophy cabinet.
She also topped the WTA rankings for the first time in April and amassed a 37-match winning streak on her way to eight titles last year. She was also named the WTA Player of the Year.
Mark Petchey recently complimented Iga Swiatek in response to a tweet from American tennis player Alex Bancila in which Bancila asked Twitter users to name a former World No. 1 player with “less charisma” than Swiatek.
“Before starting the inevitable histrionics, name one former WTA number 1 with less charisma than Swiatek. I’ll say yay or nay. I’ll wait,” Bancila wrote.
Petchey noted that many former World No. 1 players hide their true selves behind a mask, but the Pole does not, making her more “interesting” and “authentic.”
“Rivalries have masked a lot players lack of charisma and that goes for both tours. Once Iga builds rivalries I believe we will see the best of her and the WTA. I personally find her more interesting and authentic than many previous players. Many wore a mask. Iga doesn’t,” Petchey said.
Bancila then responded to the Brit’s tweet, saying that while Iga Swiatek is a “great player,” she “lacks charisma.”
“Good points. I just think she lacks charisma – in no way am I (s*itting) on her. Interesting & quirky in a slightly awkward way – yes. Legitimately great player – 100%. Racquet head speed, foot speed & explosiveness are off the charts. Am probably right for now, you for the future,” Bancila wrote.
“I think I have to really take care of the tactics” – Iga Swiatek on facing Emma Raducanu at the BNP Paribas Open 2023
Iga Swiatek defeated Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 7-6(1) on Monday, March 13 to advance to the fourth round at Indian Wells, where she will face Emma Raducanu. Swiatek won the pair’s lone meeting in the Stuttgart quarterfinals last year, giving herself a 1-0 advantage in the head-to-head against the Brit.
Speaking of her upcoming match with Raducanu, Swiatek stated in a press conference that after playing the Brit in Stuttgart, she knows about her gameplay. However, she noted that she will have to take care of her “tactics” because the Stuttgart match was almost a year ago and there is a good chance that her opponent’s game has changed over time.
“I think after Stuttgart, I just know how her shots feel on the racquet, because before I haven’t even practiced with her. So it helps that way, but on the other hand, it’s great because we are playing on hard court, and there was clay, but actually this surface is slower,” Swiatek said.
“So I think I have to, like, really take care of the tactics anyway, and we’ll see. Honestly, like every day is different. Stuttgart match was like almost a year ago. So long time ago,” she added.
Unseeded Raducanu, who has been sidelined by injuries and illnesses since the Australian Open, defeated 13th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the third round. Raducanu earned three straight wins on the tour for only the second time since her historic 2021 US Open title run.