They don't call her the clay court queen for nothing: Jessica Pegula's spin on Iga Swiatek's Roland Garros dominance

Friday, 24 May 2024 at 12:44
Iga Swiatek plays more like a guy on clay which explains her Queen of Clay status believes her rival, Jessica Pegula who will not play any part in this year's tournament due to injury and will instead return during the grass court season.
Swiatek's game suits clay down to a tee with the World No.1 finally completing her clay court collection winning Madrid this year and could become the only player alongside Serena Williams to complete the trio of titles. Pegula spoke to NBC in. a preview ahead of the tournament and said that in her belief, she models her game off Rafael Nadal.
Hence why she has similar dominance and has that extra bit of time to strike the ball and work the conditions to suit her and her game. Swiatek will aim to join the likes of Chris Evert, Steffi Graf among others in winning four Roland Garros titles over the next fortnight and is the current out and out favourite.
Her leading rivals including Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina have wins over her on the surface. But only at lesser tournaments where the losses don't really matter as much to Swiatek. She seems to get it right when it really does count at the Grand Slam.
"Yeah, I've played her on clay, on hard. I mean, she is a claycourter. That's what she models her game after," Pegula told NBC Sports.
"She modeled it after Rafa. That was her idol, right? So, hitting that heavy topspin, her athleticism, I think her ability to turn defense into offense. Not only her defense, but her ability to get in and out of the corner so quickly and then turn the point and take the ball early. I think it's something special."
"And then on clay, she just has more time to do that. It just caters [to] her game with kind of heavy topspin, and she plays more like a guy, to be more honest," she said."
I feel like it's a little bit more like that. Just heavier topspin, she doesn't necessarily just hit it flat, and I think again, her movement and her athleticism is really good."

Just In

Popular News