Tennis Prose



Quiet Iga Swiatek Makes Big Statement at AO

By Scoop Malinowski

Iga Swiatek is just seventeen. And on Monday she won her first Grand Slam match in her first try, beating Romanian veteran Ana Bogdan 63 36 64.

You would think the Polish girl’s reaction after winning such a monumental match would have been a career highlight with an outpouring of emotion, joy and overflowing happiness.

Match point for Swiatek was a good rally which ended with Bogdan hitting her cross court backhand just wide by less than an inch.

Swiatek’s reaction after scoring her very first Grand Slam match win in her first try was as follows…

She put her head down and did not smile or change her facial expression. As she walked to the net to shake Bogdan’s hand she wiped her mouth with her wrist band. She did not look to anyone in the crowd or her coaching box, she focused on Bogdan and they shook hands. Swiatek made eye contact and seemed to say something concise like, Good luck.

Still no reaction of joy at all from Swiatek.

After shaking hands with the chair umpire, Swiatek then walked over to her chair – skipping any kind of wave to the crowd or fist pump – when she arrived at her chair, without sitting, she immediately put her racquet into her bag and another racquet that was leaning against a chair. She then put two water bottles into her bag and a towel.

No dances. No joy. No overt celebrations. Not even a SMILE.

This was Swiatek’s first Grand Slam! She won junior Wimbledon last year and Roland Garros junior doubles. She is currently ranked 178 in the world and qualified for the AO by beating Olga Danilovic, Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov and Danielle Lao.

She is currently the second youngest WTA player in the top 200 behind Amanda Anisimova. Swiatek entered the top 200 when she won two ITF $60,000 events in Montreaux and Budapest last summer during the US Open, which she elected to skip.

Now making her name known, without much fanfare or drama, Swiatek will next play Camila Giorgi in the second round of AO. If she can win that match later today, against the top 30 player, maybe just maybe Iga will feel it an achievement worthy of a visible celebration.

I can’t remember such an understated, low key reaction to such an important, landmark victory as what Swiatek showed versus Bogdan. Maybe she is so confident and her expectations are so gigantic that winning her first Grand Slam match and many others, is really nothing special, in her mind and she is not even close to where she aspires to be.

Swiatek left a silent message in the first round but it spoke in volumes. This new player from Poland is now on her way to much bigger and better things in professional tennis. And this is only just the beginning.

Post match quotes:
Ana Bogdan: “Iga has a great serve. Played a lot of aces, too many for me. I wasn’t expecting it. She has a very different game, sometimes hits the ball very hard and sometimes very light.”

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  • Scoop Malinowski · January 16, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    This was Iga’s first WTA main draw match win.

  • catherine · January 17, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Giorgi sent Iga home 6-2 6-0. I’d hold the hosannahs for a while. I think Yastremska is better at the moment but who knows with all these teenage sensations ?

    Check back in a couple of years.



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