"I had a same feeling playing her": Swiatek gives Sabalenka high praise, compares her to Barty

Monday, 15 May 2023 at 05:00
swiatek rome 2021
Iga Swiatek compared Aryna Sabalenka to former world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty.
Swiatek and Sabalenka have recently developed a rivalry as the current world No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. During Swiatek's dominance, the Belarusian has been practically the only one who has been able to directly challenge the 3-time Grand Slam champion.
Swiatek herself acknowledges the tough competition that Sabalenka poses. Their most recent matchups were in the finals of Stuttgart (won by Swiatek) and the Madrid Open (won by Sabalenka). The current world No. 1 praised Sabalenka and compared her to former world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty.
“Having someone playing so well like Aryna is motivating. It keeps me constantly ready and on my toes. It really struck me two years ago when I played against Ashleigh Barty, I had a pretty similar feeling playing against her,” said Swiatek to Eurosports.
“So, in practices I imagine how she is playing the slice and I try to pick it up and give it back. It is a bit like that, but I am glad that have good players and we can motivate each other.”
Before her retirement in 2022, Barty faced the Polish player twice, winning on both occasions without dropping a set.

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