Iga Swiatek's worrying announcement ahead of Wimbledon: 'I'm sorry'

·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Iga Swiatek, pictured here speaking to reporters after winning the French Open.
Iga Swiatek speaks to reporters after winning the French Open. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Iga Swiatek has sent a scare through fans ahead of Wimbledon after announcing her withdrawal from next week’s grass-court tournament in Berlin due to a shoulder problem.

The 21-year-old won her second grand slam title at the the French Open last week, extending her winning streak to 35 consecutive matches.

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But fans will have to wait a little longer to see her attempt to extend the streak even further after the World No.1 announced she won't play at the German Open.

"Due to a recurrent discomfort I am feeling in my shoulder, unfortunately I need to withdraw from the bett1open in Berlin," she wrote on Twitter.

"I'm sorry I will not be able to play there. I will focus on recovery and rest in order to be ready for Wimbledon."

Swiatek was set to open her grass-court season in Berlin, but now joins World No.2 Anett Kontaveit, No.3 Paula Badosa and former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka in pulling out of the event.

Fans expressed their concerns for Swiatek and sent their well-wishes ahead of Wimbledon, which starts on June 27.

With her French Open triumph, Swiatek won her 35th-consecutive match and the sixth tournament in a row in which she has played.

Swiatek hasn't lost a single match since Ash Barty's unexpected retirement, and now holds the equal-longest winning streak in women's tennis this century.

The Polish star's undefeated run is now equal with Venus Williams' best streak - 35 consecutive matches in 2000 - and one ahead of Serena Williams' record of 34.

Swiatek is just the eighth woman in the Open era to win at least 35 matches in a row, joining Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, and Venus Williams.

Only Roger Federer (42 in 2006) and Novak Djokovic (43 in 2011) have longer winning streaks since the turn of the century.

Iga Swiatek, pictured here posing with the trophy in Paris after winning the French Open.
Iga Swiatek poses with the trophy in Paris after winning the French Open. (Photo by Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images )

Iga Swiatek still the favourite at Wimbledon?

However she might have her work cut out to keep the streak alive on grass, which is her least-preferred surface behind clay and hard.

“The biggest challenge now is the grass. Iga has shown what she is able to do on hard courts, has impressively proven that she can continue seamlessly on clay,” Eurosport pundit Barbara Rittner said last week.

“Clay has always been her best surface. On grass, she lost to Ons Jabeur in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year – admittedly in three sets, but 1-6 and 1-6 in the second and third set.

"On the other hand, she won the youth tournament there in in 2018 as well.

“So, it will be interesting to see how she manages the switch to grass now and whether she can bring that focus and that dominant way of playing to the next surface.”

Nevertheless, Rittner said she still thinks Swiatek is the favourite to win Wimbledon.

“It was remarkable how she managed to deal with these unbelievably high expectations at just 21 years of age,” she said.

“She has given the last proof of how good she is and what she is able to achieve. She showed that she can find ways to deal with difficult situations even during the tournament.

“She didn’t play her best tennis from the start, and struggled a bit in the third round, then didn’t win so easily afterwards, but then played her very best tennis in the semi-final and final – she didn’t give Jessica Pegula or Coco Gauff the slightest chance.

“She herself described what the title means to her, how valuable it is. In doing so, she impressively underlined the dominant role the No.1 in world tennis is in right now, not only in terms of her game, but also mentally.”

with agencies

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