At just 21-years-old, the Polish superstar is making a strong case for why she not only deserves a world No. 1 ranking, but why it will be a while before anyone dethrones her.
You won’t see Iga Świątek plastered on billboards or fronting commercials, nor will you spot her in the front row at fashion shows or award ceremonies quite yet. Serious tennis enthusiasts aren’t interested in that. It’s what she’s doing on clay, grass, and hard courts that have fans packing stadiums in hopes of seeing the Polish-born powerhouse ace her way to another title.
Świątek’s steps into the US Open finals, as the curtains close one of the greatest careers in sports history. However, Serena Williams‘ probable exit from the game doesn’t mean women’s tennis is no longer worth watching. In fact, there’s a new face to keep an eye on, and she’s bringing similar depth and vigor that made audiences fall in love with the 23-time Grand Slam champion upon her rise over two decades ago.
As she takes the court for her second finals appearance this year, let’s dive into what makes Iga Świątek, the daughter of an Olympic rower, so dazzling to watch and difficult to defeat.
The Iga Świątek Brand
- Age: 21
- Nationality: Warsaw, Poland
- Height: 5-foot-9
- Career prize money: $11.5 million
- Key endorsements: Asics, Red Bull, Xiaomi, Lexus, Rolex, Tecnifibre
- Twitter followers: 351K
- Instagram followers: 953K
On the court, she captured both French Open titles with a Tecnifibre racquet. Świątek and the French brand inked a partnership in 2021. The Tempo 298 Iga ($231) was created exclusively for her with technical features that “have been optimized on the court with it in order to obtain the perfect speed of swing in all situations.”
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Świątek has been a staunch advocate for the well-being of Ukrainians worldwide. In the post-match interview after winning this year’s French Open, she encouraged them to “stay strong.”
Świątek’s Career Accomplishments
Professional singles record: 196-53
Career WTA wins: 9
World ATP Ranking: 1
Career-high ranking: 1
Grand Slam wins: 2 (French Open, 2020, 2022)
Additional Honors: 2020 WTA Most Improved Player; 2020 WTA Fan Favorite Singles Player
Because Świątek’s playing style showcases her offensive capabilities, she rarely causes unforced errors. For some, playing closer to the net is a risk, as it leaves plenty of space in the back for opponents to strike fast. But Świątek’s rare display of defense makes her so fun to watch. She demoralizes competitors with a drop shot so elegant it’s bound to have spectators on their feet with praise normally saved for a game-winning touchdown.
In addition to her dazzling drop shot, Świątek is writing her place in the record books at her young age. Few players can say they’ve beaten Serena Williams record in anything. In June, Świątek managed to overcome the GOAT’s consecutive wins line. Williams closed her decades-long career with 34 straight WTA Tour victories and Świątek reached 35.
Rafael Nadal may be revered as the King of Clay, but Świątek makes a strong case for herself among the women. After lifting a second trophy at Roland Garros in May, Świątek joined Williams, Margaret Court, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, and Justine Henin as the only female players to win her first two finals at the French Open in the Open Era.
Considering she’s a huge fan of Nadal, it’s easy to draw slight comparisons between Świątek and the 22-time Grand Slam champion. Like the Spaniard, Świątek relies on her fitness to guide her technique. The two also hit the ball with an aggressive topspin, which is unusual for a woman to master.
Her ascent to French Open glory in 2020 was largely in part to a near-perfect topspin forehand winner, clocking in about 3,200 revolutions per minute.
Ashleigh Barty‘s surprise retirement in March created an opening for Iga Świątek to slide into the world’s No. 1 spot. But make no mistake, it’s pure skill that will keep her in the competition for the top spot for years to come.