Iga Swiatek Clear Favourite For French Open Glory But Is Still Beatable, Says Wilander - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Clear Favourite For French Open Glory But Is Still Beatable, Says Wilander

The seven-time Grand Slam champion believes the format of women’s matches could make Swiatek vulnerable.

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Photo by Roberto Dell’Olivo

The unpredictability of three-set matches means that it is possible that Iga Swiatek could suffer a surprise defeat at the upcoming French Open, according to former world No.1 Mats Wilander.

 

Swiatek will be the top seed at Roland Garros where she will be bidding to win the Grand Slam for the second time in her career after 2020. The Pole has dominated the Tour in recent weeks by winning 28 matches in a row which is the longest winning streak in women’s tennis since Serena Williams back in 2013. She has won five tournaments in a row with four of those being a WTA 1000 event.

The impressive run by Swiatek has positioned her as the clear favourite for French Open glory once again. However, Wilander believes it is possible that her winning run could end in Paris due to the format of the event. Speaking to Eurosport, the Swede said he believes Swiatek would always be the ‘big favourite’ if matches were played in a best-of-five format but when it comes to best-of-three she is more vulnerable.

If it was five sets, I would say Iga Swiatek is always the big, big favourite because the level she would play at over five sets, she would always be the big favourite,” said Wilander.
“Because it’s three sets, there are a lot of women that can come out and play unbelievably for 45 minutes to an hour and in that time they could leave Swiatek 6-3 or up a break and suddenly we now need a little bit of luck to turn the match around.
“She’s the favourite for sure, but it’s much more difficult to consistently be the favourite over three sets. Iga still needs good starts in matches whereas Novak [Djokovic] does not need a good start in any match and after one, two hours, he will slowly become the favourite over a match that will last a minimum of three hours.
“With Iga it could last one hour and she might not have found her form that day.”

This season only three players have managed to defeat Swiatek who has won 35 matches overall. The were recently retired Ash Barty, Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins and former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Speaking about the tennis star’s playing style, Wilander believes she is setting the path for the future of women’s tennis. Swiatek, who will turn 21 at the end of this month, has won eight WTA titles so far in her career with half of those being on a clay court.

“The future of women’s tennis is going the way that Swiatek is playing with a forehand that is a little bit more top spin in the past, so the margin of error is much bigger,” he said.
“She can play safe but very aggressive, just like Rafa and Novak with the forehand. We haven’t really seen that in the women’s game as it takes racquet head speed and strength to develop that.
“Iga is on the way to where the women’s game is going, which is a little more variety and a little bit more safety, but still extremely aggressive. I expect we will still have lots of different winners in the women’s game because it’s three sets.”

Since 2008 there has only been three occasions when the French Open women’s title was won by the top seed. Williams did it twice in 2013 and 2015, followed by Simona Halep in 2018. Should Swiatek win the title, she would become the 10th woman in the Open Era to have won the tournament on multiple occasions.

The French Open will begin on Sunday.

Grand Slam

(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) The Wimbledon Clash Between Djokovic And Sinner Could Have Been Better

It was an epic five-set clash but imagine how better the match would have been if both were playing well at the same time…

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Hall of Famer Steve Flink and Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse the dramatic events that unfolded on Tuesday at Wimbledon.

 

Top seed Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to oust Jannik Sinner in a match of two halves. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie brought delight to the British fans.

On the other side of the draw, how will Rafael Nadal fair against the in-form Taylor Fritz? The Spaniard recently sidestepped a question about a potential new injury. 

As for the women’s draw, Ons Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab player to reach a major quarter-final. She will next play 34-year-old mum-of-two Tatjana Maria who had never been beyond the third round of a major until now. 

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The Wimbledon Naughty List: Which Players Have Been Fined And What For?

Ubitennis takes a look at who has been hit with a penalty and more importantly why.

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Nick Kyrgios might be the player everybody’s talking about due to his behavior but few realize that he is one of 19 to be hit with a financial penalty during the first week of Wimbledon.

In fact, more than $75,000 worth of fines has already been issued during the first week of the championships. According to official data, more than three times as many men have committed an offense than women. Although interestingly it is only two female players who have been punished for receiving coaching and nobody in the men’s draw.

Australia’s Kyrgios leads the leaderboard for the biggest fine after what has been a controversial past few days. In his first round match, he argued with the umpire and spat in front of some people in the crowd who he said were ‘disrespecting him.’ Resulting in him being hit with a $10,000 penalty. He later said during his press conference that he was tired of being verbally abused by some fans watching him play.

 

Then on Saturday in a dramatic clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas he argued once again with officials, got a warning for swearing and at one stage called for his opponent to be defaulted for hitting a ball into the stands. 

“Why would I need to apologize? I’m getting fined for it. Because I got — I always get fined. I’m very keen to see what he will get after today.” Kyrgios said following his third round win. 

Kyrgios has been fined another $4000 for his antics and Tsitsipas has to pay $10,000 for his behavior. The relationship between the two took another dramatic turn after the match when the Greek accused his peer of bullying during an explosive press conference

After Kyrgios, America’s Reilly Opelka was docked $5000 for swearing. The value of the fine is an interesting one when three other players have also been fined for the same offense but they only have to pay $3000. The difference could be due to repeated swearing during the match.

The majority of the men’s fInes are for either unsportsmanlike conduct or audible obscenities. The only exception is Benoit Paire who was fined $2500 for equipment abuse.

As for the ladies’ draw, Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko received the biggest fine ($4500) for coaching. Former world No.1 Garbine Muguruza was another player to be published for her actions.

Here is a breakdown of the fines issued between Day 1 and Day 6 of the championships. 

WOMEN

  • Daria Saville AUS (round one) $4000 – EQUIPMENT ABUSE
  • Lesia Tsurenko UKR (round two) $4500 – COACHING
  • Garbine Mugurza ESP (round 2) $3500 – COACHING
  • Harriet Dart GBR (round 2) $4000 – EQUIPMENT ABUSE

MEN

  • Fernando verdasco ESP (round one) $3000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Adrian Mannarino FRA (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Stan Wawrinka SWI (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Yoshihito Nishioka JPA (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Nick Kyrgios AUS (round one) $10,000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Pedro Martinez ESP (round one) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Diego Schwartzman ARG (round one) $3000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Lukas Klein SVK (round one) $3000 –  UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Reilly Opelka USA (round two) $5000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Benoit Paire (round one) $2500 – EQUIPMENT ABUSE
  • Jiri Vesely CZE (round two) $3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina ESP (round two) $3000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Denis Shapovalov CAN (round 2) £3000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
  • Nick Kyrgios (round 3) $4000 – AUDIBLE OBSCENITY
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas (round 3) $10,000 – UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT

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Grand Slam

(VIDEO) Day 7 at Wimbledon: Jannik Sinner Stuns Alcaraz, Djokovic Fights Back

Ubitennis found Ubaldo Scanagatta reflects on all the action that took place on Sunday with renowned commentator Steve Flink.

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Jannik Sinner joins a small group of only six Italian men to have reached the last eight at SW19. The 20-year-old ousted the fierce Carlos Alcaraz in four sets. Another four-set triumph was Djokovic’s win over Dutch walk card Tim Van Rijthoven.

 

Hall of Famer Flink joins Ubitennis to give his view on the events that have taken place. 

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