Dirk Gerlo: “Swiatek shows that the level of women’s tennis has risen sharply” | Roland Garros

With 19-year-old Iga Swiatek, another new name comes knocking at the door of the women’s tennis top. Could the Polish become an established name? “She has the battle arsenal to do well on any surface,” said commentator Dirk Gerlo.

Iga Swiatek immediately closed her first grand slam final with the overall victory at Roland Garros. The 19-year-old Polish also did not miss a set against Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin (21).

“She was impressive throughout the tournament,” said Gerlo. “She is astonishingly mature for a 19-year-old. She never left a set, with multi-dimensional tennis. Like all top players, she masters all strokes, but also uses them when she needs them.”

“She is also very tactical: if Kenin was well behind the baseline, she took a dropshot, if the track was open, a forehand followed straight ahead. Her serve is also a weapon.”

“More importantly: especially mentally she is very strong. When she gave up a 3-0 lead, she immediately recovered. It is an accumulation of very good characteristics.”

Iga Swiatek has an accumulation of very good characteristics.

Dirk gerlo

“Swiatek has made the switch to professional circuit quickly”

Two years ago Swiatek won Wimbledon in the juniors, now she is already shooting the lead bird at Roland Garros. “It goes so fast,” said Gerlo. “She made that transition from the juniors to the professional circuit, which many players struggle with, very quickly.”

Her story is somewhat reminiscent of Jelena Ostapenko, the Latvian who took her first (and for now only) grand slam title in Paris in 2017 at the age of 20. “Ostapenko had also won Wimbledon as a junior, but already as a 14-year-old. But she was on the track with the same open-mindedness as Swiatek. “

“Even now we may not hear from Swiatek for a while. Because now everyone wants to beat the Polish. But she has the hitting arsenal to do well on all surfaces.”

“Nobody stands out among women”

Since 2017, 12 different tennis players have already won a grand slam tournament. The last 7 years there has always been a different name on the Roland Garros palmares.

“There is no real clay queen”, says Gerlo. “Henin has won in 2005, 2006 and 2007, but after that the same woman never won twice in a row. Maybe Roland Garros is the most difficult tournament to win.”

“But also at the other grand slam tournaments different names are popping up: Osaka, Andreescu, Kerber, Wozniacki, Halep, Kenin … There is not really anyone who stands out. Swiatek shows once again that the level has risen enormously in terms of breadth. in women’s tennis. “

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