- Iga Swiatek US Open 2023 losses have more to do with her style of play and confidence
- The Pole’s journey to defend her 2022 US Open victory was cut short at the Round of 16
- She lost to Jelena Ostapenko in three sets
Iga Swiatek US Open 2023 losses have more to do with her style of play and confidence.
The Pole’s journey to defend her 2022 US Open victory was cut short at the Round of 16 when playing against Jelena Ostapenko. The latter proved to be a hard nut to crack and she eventually won 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Prior to Sunday’s fourth-round match at the US Open, Ostapenko had won their previous three meetings with Swiatek.
Ostapenko, a Latvian tennis star seeded 20th has a powerful swing that always troubles Swiatek who is having a bumpy year on tour compared to last season. Following her exit from Flushing Meadows, both Swiatek and tennis legend John McEnroe agreed on a few things that she needs to work on.
The 22-year-old Polish tennis star said that playing against Ostapenko made her realize that she has to work on her game to avoid further losses. McEnroe pointed out the areas she needed to improve on as follows.
MORE CONFIDENCE WHILE AT THE NET
McEnroe told Eurosport that “She [Swiatek] needs to improve her game at the net, moving forward. I don’t think she’s that confident at net.”
A perfect game at the net means that you constantly employ forehand volleys and backhand volleys. Volleys are ideally the tennis shots you make while at the Net. So, Swiatek should practice hitting them from different angles and with different levels of power. Additionally, she should do proper timing in order to get perfect volleys and with the amount of force necessary. Essentially, she should be aggressive, fast, and calculating whenever she is on the net.
The American tennis legend also stated that Swiatek needs to up her game in power serves. He feels that what she gave Ostapenko was weak and it was also the main reason why she couldn’t match the Latvian’s powerful serves throughout the three-set match. A powerful serve is important in tennis because it gives you a significant advantage over your opponent. A good serve helps you win points outright. It also puts your opponent on the defensive thereby making it difficult for them to return the ball.
Therefore; employ more power when tossing because a higher and more consistent gives you more power to deploy on your serve. Remember to always hit the ball in the centre of your racket because this is how you generate the most power and control. Follow it up with a good swing for accuracy and power.
USE SLICE SHOTS
Slice shots control the ball and make it difficult for your opponent to return especially if they are well-calculated. They create angles once hit with a lot of topspin and sidespin. The ball curves downwards and sideways from your opponent as a result. It becomes hard for an opponent to predict where it lands and this earns you a point.
Swiatek has traditionally struggled against dominant players like Ostapenko, Aryna Sabalenka, and Elena Rybakina. Their technique overwhelms her but McEnroe believes that with more practice in the three areas, she will rise to the top once more.