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The secret of Iga Swiatek’s successes

This is the Polish perspective of Iga Swiatek’s success story.

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Iga Swiatek (@ROLEX - Twitter)

By Dominik Senkowski

 

Opponents can envy her. This is the polish perspective.

Everyone in the world is wondering how the 21-year-old polish woman came to dominate women’s tennis so much. This is a consequence of several factors. The secret of Iga Swiatek’s success lies in herself and in her surroundings.

Iga Swiatek has produced a phenomenal season. The Pole won two Grand Slam tournaments this year: Roland Garros and the US Open. She has also claimed five other titles on the WTA Tour and has been leading the rankings for over 24 weeks. From a mathematical point of view, there is no indication that she could lose the lead in the coming months.

The season Iga will surely end as the world No.1. Her point advantage over her opponents is gigantic. The advantage on the court – even greater. Even if Swiatek does not play as well as she can – and this was the case in New York – still win. It is thanks to her winning mentality, similar to Rafa Nadal or Novak Djokovic.

We come back to the first factor that determines the success of a polish tennis player. It’s her character. Swiatek has an amazing passion for playing tennis. She is very ambitious, full of passion.

When I spoke to her four years ago after winning the junior Wimbledon title, she said her goal was to win all four Grand Slam tournaments. Even though she was only 17 at the time, she was very conscious and goal-oriented.

This is also because of her father, Tomasz Swiatek. In the past, he was a rower who represented Poland at the Olympic Games in Seoul. Iga grew up in a sports family. She knew what an athlete’s career mean.

The environment of Iga Swiatek has a great influence on her successes. These achievements would not exist without the psychologist Daria Abramowicz. A polish woman was one of the first to start talking about the role of sports psychology in women’s tennis. She has been cooperating with Abramowicz for three years, and you can see the real effects of their cooperation.

Iga is an example for them how to develop on the mental perspective. Thanks to it, other tennis players (Ons Jabeur or Naomi Osaka) use specialists. This is slowly becoming the norm.

Maciej Ryszczuk, a physiotherapist, also does a great job. He prepares Iga for hard work throughout the season. The season is long because tennis players play practically all year round. They change surfaces, continents and climates. Iga looks very good physically.

Ryszczuk admits that he analyzes the performances of the best tennis players in recent years (for example Serena Williams) and draws conclusions on how to physically prepare a tennis player, where to let go, when to train harder. For this reason, Iga did not play in Madrid this year.

The most important member in Iga’s team is, of course, the coach. Previously, it was Piotr Sierzputowski, today it is Tomasz Wiktorowski. The former prepared polish woman for an adult career and helped to win the first Grand Slam title in Paris. Wiktorowski took Iga to another level. He uses his own experience as a former coach of Agnieszka Radwanska. Iga is also more mature, she is a different tennis player than three years ago.

In the end, you also need to appreciate the tremendous work that the entire tennis player’s managerial team is doing. Thanks to this, Iga does not have to pursue her career, think about many things. She can focus primarily on training and matches.

This is important because there was no such professional team in polish tennis before. Iga does not always know what she will be doing in two days after the tournament. That’s why she has people to plan her calendar and she trusts them.

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Carlos Alcaraz Faces Rune Test In Astana

Carlos Alcaraz leads a stacked field in Astana next week.

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Carlos Alcaraz (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz returns to the ATP tour next week in Astana next week where he faces Danish talent Holger Rune.

 

The world number one plays his first ATP tournament since winning his first Grand Slam title at the US Open and becoming the youngest world number one in history.

Having qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals, Alcaraz will now look to build momentum over the coming weeks for the event in Turin.

First up for Alcaraz is the ATP 500 event in Astana next week where the Spaniard faces a tough opening round in the form of Danish talent Holger Rune.

The Dane reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros earlier this year but had struggled for form since then.

However Rune has reached the semi-finals in Sofia this week and is hitting form at the right time so this will be a big test for Alcaraz.

Should Alcaraz get through that test than a potential second round meeting with Stan Wawrinka could be on the cards with the Swiss wildcard facing Adrian Mannarino in his opening match.

Andrey Rublev is the player that could face Alcaraz in the last eight with the eighth seed facing a qualifier in his opening round match.

Rublev is one of a number of players who are chasing the remaining spots at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Also in the top half of the draw is Stefanos Tsitsipas and Hubert Hurkacz with Tsitsipas facing Mikhail Kukushkin.

While Hurkacz faces Francisco Cerundolo and a potential second round match against home favourite Alexander Bublik could await in round two.

In the bottom half of the draw, Novak Djokovic will continue his search for a surge up the rankings against Cristian Garin.

Djokovic’s potential quarter-final is Jannik Sinner who begins against tricky serve and volleyer Oscar Otte.

Daniil Medvedev is also taking part in a stacked field in Astana as he faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opening round match.

In the bottom quarter there is also an intriguing opening round match between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Roberto Bautista Agut.

Here is the full draw with play starting on Monday:

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All-Estonian Match In Tallinn Headlines WTA Semi-Finals

Anett Kontaveit and Kaia Kanepi will battle for a spot in the Tallinn final.

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Anett Kontaveit (@usopen - Twitter)

An all-Estonian match between Anett Kontaveit and Kaia Kanepi in Tallinn headlines semi-finals day on the WTA side.

 

Estonian tennis history will be made on Saturday as Kaia Kanepi and Anett Kontaveit will take on each other in their home country in the semi-finals of Tallinn.

The atmosphere in Estonia has been electric all week and it will be even louder with a guaranteed Estonian making the final.

Despite a miserable season so far, Kontaveit thrives on the indoor hard courts and will enter Saturday’s semi-final as favourite.

However Kanepi is known for causing shocks and the world number 32 will fancy her chances when the two players meet at roughly 16:00 BST.

Speaking after her quarter-final win over Karolina Muchova, Kanepi told the press that she isn’t tired and admitted Kontaveit is favourite, “I don’t feel tired at the moment. I usually don’t feel it after a match,” Kanepi told err.ee.

“It was very even. In the end I tried to play with a lot of guts and, I succeeded, that’s why I won. For me it’s just like any other match. She’s ten years younger than me, there’s not really any question. Anett has a better record and she’s ahead of me in the rankings.”

This afternoon’s meeting will be the first of their career with a place in the final against Barbora Krejcikova or Belinda Bencic on the line.

Sakkari Aims For First Final For Seven Months

Meanwhile in Parma, Maria Sakkari will look to reach her first final since Indian Wells as she takes on Danka Kovinic in the last four.

Sakkari is the heavy favourite for the title as she looks to build up some confidence heading into the end of the season.

The other semi-final in Parma will see Ana Bogdan take on Mayar Sherif.

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Kei Nishikori Confirms Safety Amid Hurricane Ian, Sets Out End of Year Plans

Kei Nishikori is set to return to tennis in November.

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Kei Nishikori (@WSOpen - Twitter)

Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori has confirmed that he and his family are safe as Hurricane Ian continues to cause destruction in America.

 

Nishikori lives and is based in Florida, where Hurricane Ian is doing most of its destruction at the moment.

So far at least two million people are without power with a handful of people losing their life due to the hurricane.

Some of Nishikori’s fans were concerned about his safety but the former top ten player confirmed that he and his family are safe, “Hi everyone, just a quick note to say my family and I are safe,” Nishikori confirmed on social media.

“Thank you for all the messages. It was a scary day and hope things will be back to normal as soon as possible. My thoughts are with all the people facing the results of the storm. I hope everyone stays safe.”

It’s pleasing to hear Nishikori is safe as the storm continues to cause destruction on many people’s livelihoods in the US.

Speaking of Nishikori, the Japanese star has been fairly muted on the court with him not playing a single event this season.

Injuries have been the story of Nishikori’s career and it looks as if that trend has continued in 2022.

However Nishikori could be expected to make his return to the tour in November on the Challenger tour.

That’s because Nishikori has been confirmed to compete in the Calgary and Drummondville challenger events.

The two events take place between the 6th and the 20th of November with Nishikori looking to gain some match time ahead of next year’s Australian Open.

Tournament directors Alain Calle and Danny Da Costa had this to say on Nishikori’s participation, “We’re thrilled to have Kei at our tournaments,” they jointly said in a press release.

“He’s been one of the most prolific players on the Tour since the start of his career, and even though he’s coming back from a major injury, he remains a very talented player. We’re looking forward to seeing him play again in Canada, and there’s no doubt our fans will be, too.”

The events will be Nishikori’s first since Indian Wells in 2021 where he lost to Dan Evans in the second round.

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