Iga Swiatek said she feels most comfortable on clay, but the world number one hopes to emulate her idol Rafael Nadal and win titles on all surfaces to become one of the game’s greats.
The 21-year-old won the French Open in 2020 and 2022 and has also proven herself on hard surfaces, winning the US Open last year. Grass courts are a different story, however, as the Pole failed to go beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon.
“I think if you want to be the best in tennis, you have to play well on all these surfaces,” Swiatek said following her 6-2 6-0 win over Lesia Tsurenko at the Italian Open on Sunday.
“I’m lucky enough to have the grasscourt season only for three weeks, but I’m still getting it. I know it’s an important part of the tour and I should be better at it.”
Swiatek pointed to the example of Nadal, who has been the dominant men’s player on clay over the last two decades with 14 Roland Garros titles while also winning multiple crowns at the other three majors.
“As you can see, Rafa, he’s called a claycourt specialist, but he won so many tournaments on hardcourts and grass as well. The goal is to be good everywhere,” Swiatek said.
“There are always going to be players who feel more comfortable on clay or on hardcourts, so it’s just a matter of the technique and being used to it.”
Swiatek, who has won her last 13 matches in Rome, will take on Donna Vekic later on Monday for a place in the quarterfinals.
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