Iga Swiatek’s father points to Jessica Pegula as the biggest threat

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Nike Melbourne 2023 collection

In a recent interview with Bartosz Gebicz for Przeglad Sportowy, Iga Swiatek‘s father Tomasz Swiatek talked about his daughter’s career and touched on the topic of other successful women’s players, where he emphasized the improvement of American Jessica Pegula.

Iga Swiatek with her father Tomasz Swiatek

The world No.1 Swiatek absolutely dominated the year 2022, with eight titles, including two Grand Slams, and a 37-match winning streak, the longest on the WTA Tour in the 21st century. When her father, a former Olympic rower, was asked whether Ons Jabeur, Paula Badosa or Maria Sakkari would show consistently good results in the coming period, he responded that he would rather pick someone else — Jessica Pegula.

“I respect her work, how consciously and consistently she develops,” Tomasz said about Pegula. “But of course, each of the tennis players we are talking about has enormous skills, ambition, heart to fight. Everyone is capable of success.”

Jessica Pegula
Jessica Pegula

The 28-year-old Pegula cracked the singles Top 20 in 2021 and has now climbed to the world No.3, having played three Grand Slam quarterfinals in 2022. She’s just as good in doubles, with a career-high of No.3 and current ranking of No.6.

When asked whether the 2022 WTA Finals runner-up Aryna Sabalenka is possibly Iga’s biggest threat if she plays more consistently and reduces the number of unforced errors, Tomasz noted that he didn’t like the Belarusian’s game style, and the fact that she beat Iga in Fort Worth can also be attributed to the fact that Iga was very tired at the time and didn’t play her best tennis.

Talking about a long-term perspective and whether the 21-year-old Iga would manage to stay motivated for years to come, Tomasz praised his daughter’s mental stability and how she didn’t let the success go to her head, but he also said that distant future is always uncertain and that her team focuses on a year or two ahead.

Then Tomasz mentioned Estonian world No.17 Anett Kontaveit, whom he admires a lot, and revealed how she is a little tired of tennis, which he finds a bit sad. On the other hand, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are still passionate about victories even though they are much older, so Tomasz suggested we should find out what keeps them hungry for more.

All in all, Tomasz can’t predict how things will turn out for Iga, but he can confirm that she’s well-prepared for the 2023 season and tennis brings her a lot of joy right now. (photos: Jimmie48)

2 COMMENTS

  1. This was really interesting to read. I do think it’s such a pity Barty didn’t play on for another year- it would have been really interesting to see how she and Iga would have matched up. At the moment, I don’t think Pegula can rival Iga consistently- interesting to see if that changes. I was curious to know why Tomasz doesn’t rate Sabakenka.

  2. Karo, Ash is really at peace in her retirement and it was the best decision for her, but from our perspective, yes. They did play last year, just before Ash’s retirement, and Ash won in straight sets in the Adelaide semifinals. Ash also beat Iga in Madrid 2021.

    As for Sabalenka, I used Google Translate to understand this interview, so I’m not really sure what in particular he doesn’t value about her game (maybe some Polish readers here can help us), but he said that he doesn’t like her style of play.

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