Iga Swiatek ‘would’ve reached world number one regardless’ of Ash Barty retirement, says legend
Chris Evert feels Iga Swiatek would’ve been crowned the new World number one regardless of Ash Barty retiring and has tipped Swiatek to take her Grand Slam tally into the “double digits.”
New World number one Iga Swiatek recently became just the fourth ever woman to complete the ‘Sunshine Double,’ winning the both the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open.
As such, she joined a prestigious club that boasts the likes of Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka.
In doing so, Swiatek has now won the last three Masters 1000 events having also won the Qatar Open in February.
During this time, three-time Slam champion and now former World number one Barty announced her shock retirement aged just 25.
In an interview with Eurosport, 18-time Major titlist Evert said “I’ve always thought that to put together seven matches in a Grand Slam was really hard, to be at a high level, but she’s put together 16.
“To put together 16 matches in a row with this field, with this depth in the women’s game and not having a real dip, not having a let-down, is almost unheard of in the women’s game and that’s what makes her so special and that’s what makes her the number one player in the world.
“Even if Ashleigh Barty hadn’t retired, Iga would have reached the [World] number one spot.”
Evert also drew comparisons to 18-year-old men’s Miami Open winner Carlos Alcaraz, who she also predicted to win “double digit” Slams.
She said “what impresses me about her is – very much like [Carlos] Alcaraz – is the hunger. I keep going back to hunger but she wants it so badly and she’s so committed to the game that she forces herself to be in the moment and she’s in every single point.
“And that mental strength of hers is really propelling her to the top. She’s mentally the toughest player out there by far right now, she’s on another level.
“So again, melding, putting together the physical and the mental strengths, makes me believe that she is not a one-time Grand Slam winner. She’s going to be double digits,” Evert predicted.
“She’s looking at a long career and she’s viewing it as a positive adventure and not looking at the pitfalls. Her attitude is wonderful.”
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