Iga Natalia Świątek ([ˈiɡa ˈɕfʲɔntɛk]; born 31 May 2001) is a Polish professional tennis player. She is the youngest player in the top ten of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings, and has a career-high No. 4 in the world. She was the champion at the 2020 French Open and is the first Polish player to win a Grand Slam singles title in history. With her French Open title, she also became the youngest singles champion at the tournament since Rafael Nadal in 2005, and the youngest women's singles champion since Monica Seles in 1992.
Świątek's father Tomasz was an Olympic rower. As a junior, Świątek was the 2018 French Open girls' doubles champion alongside Caty McNally, and the 2018 Wimbledon girls' singles champion. She also led Poland to the Junior Fed Cup crown in 2016 and won a doubles gold medal for Poland at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics with Slovenian Kaja Juvan. Świątek began playing regularly on the WTA Tour in 2019, the same year she made her tour debut. She entered the top 50 at 18 years old after her first appearance in a WTA final and a fourth-round appearance at the French Open, where she was defeated by Simona Halep. During her dominant French Open title run in 2020, Świątek rebounded to defeat the top-seeded Halep in the same round and did not drop a set or lose more than five games in any match during the singles event. She entered the top ten of the WTA rankings for the first time on 17 May 2021, after winning the Italian Open, defeating former world No. 1 Karolína Plíšková in the final without conceding a game.
Świątek has an all-court style of play. She won the WTA Fan Favorite Shot of the Year in 2019 with a drop shot from the baseline, and was voted WTA Fan Favorite Singles Player of the Year in 2020.
Early life and background
Iga Świątek was born on 31 May 2001 in Warsaw to Dorota and Tomasz Świątek. Her father is a former rower who competed in the men's quadruple sculls event at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Her mother is an orthodontist. She has a sister Agata who is about three years older and is a student of dentistry at the Medical University of Lublin. Świątek's father wanted his daughters to become competitive athletes, and preferred they take up an individual sport rather than a team sport to have better control of their chances of success. Agata initially started out as a swimmer, but switched to tennis after she had issues with swimming. Iga followed her sister into tennis because she wanted to beat her and also because she wanted to be more like her. Agata briefly competed on the ITF Junior Circuit in 2013 at about 15 years old, but stopped playing due to injury troubles. Iga trained at Mera Warsaw as a 14-year-old before later moving to Legia Warsaw.
Świątek reached a career-high ranking of No. 5 as a junior. She began competing in ITF Junior Circuit events in 2015 and won back-to-back low-level Grade 4 titles in April and May at age 13. Before the end of the year, she moved up to Grade 2 events and finished runner-up in both singles and doubles at the Czech Junior Open. Świątek made her junior Grand Slam debut in 2016 at the French Open, reaching the quarterfinals in both singles and doubles. She followed this up with her best junior title to date at the Grade 1 Canadian Open Junior Championships, defeating Olga Danilović in the final.
Świątek had a strong first half of 2017. She won both the singles and doubles titles at the Grade 1 Traralgon Junior International. Although she lost her opening round match at the Australian Open, she partnered with compatriot Maja Chwalińska to make her first final in a Grand Slam event, finishing runner-up in doubles to the North American team of Bianca Andreescu and Carson Branstine. She then reached her first Grade A singles final at the Trofeo Bonfiglio, losing to Elena Rybakina. Her season came to an end after another quarterfinal at the French Open, after which she had right ankle surgery that kept her out for seven months.
Despite only competing in two Grand Slam tournaments in 2018 and three singles events in total, Świątek finished her junior career with her best season. She returned to the junior tour at the French Open after a one-year absence and reached the semifinals in singles, losing to Caty McNally. She fared better in doubles, partnering with McNally to win her first junior Grand Slam title. They defeated the Japanese team of Yuki Naito and Naho Sato in the final. Świątek only played singles at Wimbledon. As an unseeded player due to her absence, she was drawn against top seed Whitney Osuigwe in the first round. After winning that match in three sets, she did not drop another set during the rest of the tournament and won the championship for her only junior Grand Slam singles title. She defeated Leonie Küng in the final.
2016–18: Undefeated in seven ITF finals
Świątek began competing on the ITF Women's Circuit in 2016 and played on the circuit through the end of 2018. She won all seven ITF singles finals she reached, ranging from the first four at the $10K to $15K level to one at the $25K level followed up by two at the $60K level. Her first three titles came at 15 years old. The fourth was in February 2018 in her first tournament back from a seven-month layoff due to injury. After a $25K title in April, Świątek moved up to higher-level ITF events later that month. Following her junior Wimbledon title in July, she skipped the junior US Open to stay in Europe. During the two weeks of the US Open, she won back-to-back $60K titles at the NEK Ladies Open in Hungary and the Montreux Ladies Open in Switzerland. During the second event, she defeated top seed and world No. 120 Mariana Duque-Mariño. These were Świątek's last two ITF tournaments of the year. With these two titles, Świątek entered the top 200 for the first time at the age of 17, rising from No. 298 to No. 180 in those two weeks.
2019: First WTA final, top 50 debut
Despite never playing on the WTA Tour before 2019, Świątek was able to compete in only tour-level events throughout the year. After being unable to qualify at the Auckland Open, she qualified for her first WTA main draw at the Australian Open. She then defeated No. 82 Ana Bogdan in three sets in her debut match to reach the second round. At her next three tournaments, she was also able to qualify at the Hungarian Ladies Open, but not either of the Premier Mandatory events in March.
Świątek made her first WTA breakthrough at the Ladies Open Lugano in April. With her first direct acceptance into a main draw, she made her first WTA final. During the event, she upset No. 3 seed Viktória Kužmová in the second round for her first top 50 victory. She ultimately finished runner-up to Polona Hercog in three sets. Moreover, a precise cross-court forehand drop shot she hit against Kristýna Plíšková in the semifinal was voted the 2019 WTA Shot of the Year. With the runner-up, she also made her debut in the top 100 while still 17 years old. Świątek closed out her clay court season with a fourth round appearance at the French Open in her second major. She upset No. 16 Wang Qiang in the second round for her first top 20 victory before losing to defending champion Simona Halep.
Świątek could not repeat her French Open success at the remaining Grand Slam events of the year, losing her opening match at Wimbledon and in the second round at the US Open. Her best result in the second half of the season was a third round appearance at the Canadian Open. During the event, she upset No. 18 Caroline Wozniacki before losing to No. 2 Naomi Osaka. With this result, she entered the top 50 for the first time a week later. She missed the rest of the season after the US Open to undergo foot surgery and finished the year at No. 61 in the world.
2020: French Open champion, top 20 debut
Świątek made her return to the WTA Tour at the Australian Open. She matched her best result at a Grand Slam tournament with another fourth-round appearance, this time highlighted by a victory over No. 20, Donna Vekić. She defeated Vekić again at the Qatar Open, her last match win before the WTA Tour was shut down for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Świątek continued her Grand Slam success once the tour resumed. She reached the third round at the US Open, losing to eventual runner-up Victoria Azarenka.
Entering the rescheduled French Open in September, Świątek was ranked No. 54 in the world. Nonetheless, she won the singles event for her maiden WTA title. During the tournament, she defeated 2019 runner-up and world No. 19, Markéta Vondroušová, in the opening round. Her biggest upset was a victory in the fourth round over top seed and world No. 2, Simona Halep, who was on a 17-match win streak and was also the heavy favourite to win the title. She only lost three games against Halep after winning just one game against her in the same round of the French Open the previous year. Świątek defeated world No. 6, Sofia Kenin, in the final to become the first Polish player to win a Grand Slam singles title ever and the lowest-ranked French Open champion in the history of the WTA rankings. She also became the youngest singles champion at the tournament since Rafael Nadal in 2005 and the youngest women's singles winner since Monica Seles in 1992. She won the title without dropping a set or more than five games to any opponent, and the 28 games she lost in total were tied for the second-fewest among French Open singles champions in the Open Era behind only the 20 games Steffi Graf lost in 1988. With the title, Świątek rose to No. 17 in the world. She also played the doubles event, partnering with Nicole Melichar for the first time. The pair reached the semifinals, and also did not drop a set until their last match.
2021: WTA 500 and WTA 1000 titles, second week at all Slams, world No. 4, WTA finals debut
At the Australian Open, Świątek was seeded 15th and recorded wins over Arantxa Rus, Camila Giorgi and Fiona Ferro. She reached the fourth round where she lost to Simona Halep, in three sets. At Adelaide, she won her first WTA Tour title without dropping a set in the whole tournament. She defeated Belinda Bencic in the final, in straight sets. As a result, she entered the top 15 for the first time in her career, in March 2021.
Seeded 15th, Świątek won her first career WTA 1000-title at the Italian Open, defeating former champion Karolína Plíšková, 6–0, 6–0, in just 46 minutes. She advanced to the final after defeating two-time champion and world No. 5, Elina Svitolina, and the second best-ranked teenager Coco Gauff on the same day, as well as saving match points in her third-round match against Barbora Krejčíková. Świątek became the third player to win a title after saving match point en route in 2021, alongside Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open and Ashleigh Barty in Miami. She also became the fourth teenager to win a WTA 1000 event, alongside Victoria Azarenka, Belinda Bencic, and Bianca Andreescu. This successful run to her third career title moved her into the top 10 in the singles rankings on 17 May 2021, as world No. 9. At the 2021 French Open, Świątek was seeded at No. 8. She opened her title defense winning against Kaja Juvan in the first round, and then defeated Rebecca Peterson, Anett Kontaveit and Marta Kostyuk. She won 22 straight sets at the French Open but then lost in the quarterfinals to Maria Sakkari. In doubles, seeded 14th with Bethanie Mattek-Sands as a pair, playing just their third event together, they reached the final where they were defeated by Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková in straight sets. As a result, Świątek reached the top 50 at a career-high ranking of No. 42 in doubles for the first time in her career.
She started her grass-court season at the Eastbourne International where she was seeded at No. 4. After defeating Heather Watson she lost to Daria Kasatkina in the second round. As the seventh seed at Wimbledon, Świątek defeated Hsieh Su-wei, Vera Zvonareva, and Irina-Camelia Begu all in straight sets. In the fourth round she lost to Ons Jabeur in three sets.
With her win over Anett Kontaveit in the third round of the US Open, she became the only player to have reached the second week of all four Grand Slams in the 2021 season.
She qualified for the 2021 WTA Finals for the first time in her career.
Świątek represented Poland at the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals for 14-and-under girls twice in 2014 and 2015. She won all of her matches in 2014 to lead Poland to a ninth-place finish out of 16 teams. The following year, she helped Poland go undefeated in the round robin stage to reach the semifinals. Świątek moved up to the 16-and-under Junior Fed Cup in 2016, where she played alongside Maja Chwalińska and Stefania Rogozińska-Dzik. Poland won the title, defeating the United States 2–1 in the final. Świątek won both of her rubbers in the final tie, defeating Amanda Anisimova in singles before partnering with Chwalińska to defeat Caty McNally and Claire Liu in the decisive doubles rubber. The last event of Świątek's junior career was the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games. Although she lost in the quarterfinals in singles to Clara Burel, she partnered with Slovenian Kaja Juvan to win the gold medal in doubles. In the final they defeated Naito and Sato, who were also Świątek's opponents in the French Open doubles final earlier in the year.
Billie Jean King Cup
Świątek made her senior Billie Jean King Cup debut in 2018 when Poland was in Europe/Africa Zone Group I. To advance out of this group, Poland needed to win their round-robin group, a play-off tie against one of the other round robin group winners, and then another play-off tie as part of the separate World Group II Play-off round. They did not win their round-robin group in 2018 or 2019. Świątek won her only singles match in 2018. While she only won one of her three singles matches in 2019, she won both of her doubles rubbers while partnering with Alicja Rosolska. The following year, the format was changed so that Poland only needed to finish in the top two out of three teams in their round-robin group to reach the promotional play-off. Nonetheless, they won their group and defeated Sweden 2–0 in the play-off to advance to the separate Play-off round. Świątek won all three of her singles matches in the 2020 Europe/Africa Zone Group I round. Overall, Świątek has a 7–3 record at the Fed Cup, comprising 5–2 in singles and 2–1 in doubles.
Świątek has an aggressive, all-court style of play and incorporates a lot of variety into her game. Because her game style is focused on offence, she typically generates high amounts of both winners and unforced errors. She described her own style of play on clay as "a big serve, topspin, and backhand down the line". Despite her aggressive style of play, she plays with margin, and constructs points carefully until she creates an opportunity to hit a winner, and in all seven of her matches played at the French Open, she hit more winners than unforced errors. In total at the French Open, she hit 175 winners to 127 unforced errors. Her forehand and backhand are fast and powerful, with her forehand being hit with significant topspin due to her employing an extreme western grip; on her run to the title at Roland-Garros in 2020, Świątek's average forehand speed was 73 mph (118 km/h), hitting some forehands up to 79 mph (127 km/h), the fastest of any female player in the draw, and faster than any player except Jannik Sinner. Her forehand topspin reached 3453 rpm at Roland-Garros, comparable with her idol Rafael Nadal. Świątek's backhand speed peaked at 76 mph (122 km/h) at the French Open, the fastest of any female player in the draw, and equal to Dominic Thiem's backhand speed; Thiem possessed the fastest backhand of any male player at the French Open.
Świątek aims to come to the net, and has good volleying skills due to her doubles experience. Świątek possesses an accurate first serve, peaking at 114 mph (183 km/h), and averaging at 103 mph (166 km/h), allowing her to serve aces, dictate play from the first stroke, and win a majority of first-serve points. She possesses an effective kick serve, and an effective slice serve, which are deployed as second serves, preventing opponents from scoring free points. She also regularly uses the drop shot, and won the 2019 WTA Shot of the Year with a cross-court drop shot from the baseline that landed on the sideline well inside the service box. Świątek aims to gain the advantage in a point by hitting the ball early on the rise. Further strengths include her exceptional speed, movement, and court coverage, detailed and intricate footwork, and intelligent point construction. Świątek is also notable for her calm demeanour and composure under pressure, which has been credited to her work with sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz. Her favourite surface is clay, having grown up playing on that surface.
Świątek is a very popular player on the WTA Tour. She finished runner-up to Simona Halep in the voting for the WTA Fan Favorite Singles Player of the Year award in 2019. In 2020, she was voted the WTA Fan Favorite Singles Player of the Year.
Świątek's primary coach in her early junior years was Michał Kaznowski, who she worked with up to the 2016 French Open. Jolanta Rusin-Krzepota was her physical preparation trainer for almost four years through the end of the 2019 US Open. Świątek has been coached by Piotr Sierzputowski since 2016. During the time Sierzputowski has been her coach, British former professional tennis player and former Polish Davis Cup coach Nick Brown has also served as a main consultant on occasion. Świątek also works with sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz.
Świątek has been sponsored by Asics for clothing since the start of 2020. She was previously sponsored by Nike. Świątek is also endorsed by the Red Bull energy drink company, the Chinese tech giant Xiaomi and the Lexus division of the Toyota automaker company, the latter of which have also sponsored fellow Polish tennis player Agnieszka Radwańska. In 2021, Świątek signed an endorsement deal with Tecnifibre for racquets; she previously used a Prince Textreme 100 Tour racquet, although she was not under contract with the company. Świątek's father also confirmed that she had also signed a contract with Rolex in 2021. Since February 2021 her main partner is PZU.
On October 10th 2021 Iga Swiatek donated $50,000 of her prize money in support of World Mental Health Day, after progressing to the last 16 of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. "I would say in sports, for me, it was always important to use that kind of help because I always thought that in my mental toughness there is some strength that I can use on court and I can also develop in that manner," she said. After winning in Roland Garros in 2020, Swiatek revealed that using her sports psychologist (Daria Abramowicz) had helped her get over the line. "It's just good to stay open-minded. If you need that kind of help, then go for it. If you're up to it and if you're open-minded, I think it helps a lot," Swiatek added.
Swiatek is a cat lover and owns a black cat named Grappa. She enjoys reading novels and listening to music. Before her matches, she listens to rock music, especially the work of legendary bands such as Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and AC/DC. In her spare time, she listens to alternative music, jazz, soul and pop.
Grand Slam tournament performance timelines
|Australian Open||2R||4R||4R||0 / 3||7–3||70%|
|French Open||4R||W||QF||1 / 3||14–2||88%|
|Wimbledon||1R||NH||4R||0 / 2||3–2||60%|
|US Open||2R||3R||4R||0 / 3||6–3||67%|
|Win–Loss||5–4||12–2||13–4||1 / 11||30–10||75%|
|Titles||0||1||2||Career total: 3|
|Finals||1||1||2||Career total: 4|
|Australian Open||A||A||A||0 / 0||0–0||–|
|French Open||A||SF||F||0 / 2||9–2||82%|
|Wimbledon||A||NH||A||0 / 0||0–0||–|
|US Open||2R||A||A||0 / 1||1–1||50%|
|Win–Loss||1–1||4–1||5–1||0 / 3||10–3||77%|
Grand Slam tournament finals
Singles: 1 (1 title)
|Win||2020||French Open||Clay||Sofia Kenin||6–4, 6–1|
Doubles: 1 (1 runner-up)
|Loss||2021||French Open||Clay||Bethanie Mattek-Sands|| Barbora Krejčíková