Chris Evert recently defended Iga Swiatek after the Pole was met with ‘disappointing season’ claims ahead of her summit clash at the 2023 WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico.
The Polish tennis star is fresh off triumphing at the 2023 China Open where she overpowered Liudmila Samsonova in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 to claim her 12th WTA tour-level title.
Despite clinching her career’s fourth Grand Slam at the French Open, Swiatek has been subject to criticism and negative feedback from tennis fans online who opined that the World No. 2 hasn’t lived up to her stature compared to her results from previous seasons.In an interview at the WTA Finals arena, Chris Evert shielded Iga Swiatek from the tennis world’s ‘disappointing season’ claims by acknowledging her fallbacks this year and claiming that the Pole has enough fuel left in the tank to wrap the season on a high note.
“The last couple of weeks, she’s done really well, winning the title in Beijing and now getting to this final. Iga had a disappointing Wimbledon and a disappointing US Open. She wants to finish the year strong. And I think she’s got enough left over to pull it off,” she said.
The former World No. 1 further recognized the tennis world’s reservations for the 22-year-old star and pleaded with the community to focus on the bigger picture rather than her season’s performances in Majors.
“I know that some people have been disappointed with her 2023 season because the only Major she won was Roland Garros, but look at the overall picture: She’s 22 years old. If she wins this, and finishes the year-end back at No.1, is she the Player of the Year? I think so,” she added.
After fending off challenges from the tour’s top competitors, Iga Swiatek is set to face off against Jessica Pegula in the final of the 2023 WTA Finals.In her opening group stage round, the Pole prevailed over reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova to set a date against American Coco Gauff, who lifted her maiden Grand Slam at the 2023 US Open.Swiatek hardly faced any resistance from the World No. 3 and concluded their meeting with a commanding scoreline of 6-0, 7-5. Later, the 22-year-old overpowered Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in straight sets. Her most recent victory came in the semi-final after she thwarted Aryna Sabalenka’s dream run to keep her World No. 1 bid alive.Swiatek will square off against Jessica Pegula for the WTA Finals title on Tuesday, 7th November.