“How do you compete against that dominance?” – Iga Swiatek is a returning machine and these Wimbledon statistics prove it
The world number one Iga Swiatek is second on Centre Court at Wimbledon today against Belinda Bencic. She has yet to drop a set at SW19, mainly due to her prowess returning serve.
With the help of Craig O’Shannessy of Brain Game Tennis, Tennishead identifies the massive advantage the Polish superstar holds over her opponents and a small chink in her armour that they may be able to capitalise on.
Consider the following match metrics from the 16 women still left in the tournament.
- 1 return points won vs. 1st serve = 49% (48/97)
- 1 return points won vs. 2nd serve = 67% (45/67)
- 1 return games won = 64% (16/25)
- 3 break points won = 59% (16/27)
- 4 return winners (10)
- 6 returns in = 79% (123/156)
These impressive numbers make Swiatek one of the Wimbledon favorites to go all the way this year.
When her opponent serves three games, Swiatek wins two (64%). How in the world do you compete against that dominance?
The next closest is Lesia Tsurenko, winning 54% of her return games. The other two players to break the 50% threshold are Jessica Pegula (53%) and Anastasia Potopova (53%). The tournament average is a distant 30%. To be twice as good as the tournament average speaks volumes to get an explosive return game. The best on the men’s side is Grigor Dimitrov at 43%.
The other area where Swiatek is off the charts is baseline points won. When the point has ended and she is standing at the baseline (opponent can be anywhere), she is winning 64% (128/200) of those points. Today’s opponent, Bencic, is only at 54%. That’s a mismatch that the Swiss will have to figure out.
So where is Swiatek potentially vulnerable? Holding serve.
She only has two aces at Wimbledon so far. No. 2 ranked, Arnya Sabalenka has 26. On the flip side, Swiatek has only double-faulted four times in 25 service games. Ekaterina Alexandra has 20 double faults. Swiatek has held serve 84% of the time to the fourth round. There are 10 other women in the tournament that are better than that.
The best serving performance to the fourth round is by defending champion Elena Rybakina. She has held serve 29/30 times and only faced seven break points – being broken once. Rybakina brings the heat when she serves. She has the second-fastest serve in the women’s draw at 120 mph (193 km/h. Swiatek is tied for fifth-best in the tournament at 117 mph (188 km/h)
To reach the final, Swiatek will have to beat Bencic and then probably Victoria Azarenka and Jessica Pegula if the seedings hold up. Waiting in the final is probably either Sabalenka or Rybakina, who would play each other in the semi-finals.
Swiatek has yet to be pushed in the tournament. Today’s test will be the toughest and provide an ideal yardstick to predict if she can become the next Wimbledon champion.
For free access to Craig O’Shannessy’s complete courses on ‘25 Golden Rules of Singles‘ and ‘25 Golden Rules of Doubles‘, join thousands of other keen amateur tennis players and become a member of the Tennishead Club. Once you join we’ll immediately send you ground breaking coaching advice, a welcome pack including a full ASICS head to toe outfit including shoes, plus loads more. And it costs as little as £79/$99 to join with membership benefits worth over £600/$700 per year!
Craig O’Shannessy is the creator of Brain Game Tennis. For 20 years he’s been involved in tennis as a coach to players like Kevin Anderson and even Dustin Brown when he famously beat Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon. More recently Craig’s been working as a match analyst at Wimbledon and for the ATP Tour. He has also used the unique insights from his match analysis software dartfish to guide players such as Novak Djokovic with analysis of opponents and performances.
Visit BrainGameTennis.com to read the latest and best selling course ‘Getting Tight’ where Craig teams up with Jeff Greenwald to combine their specific skill sets to help you with the universal problem all players struggle with in matches.
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