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Iga Swiatek’s dream tennis dinner guests? Steffi Graf, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

Iga Swiatek’s dream tennis dinner guests? Steffi Graf, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

 

 

 

 

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek is well-known for being a vociferous reader and a student of tennis, but despite having already rewritten WTA record books and won five Grand Slam titles by the tender age of 23, the Polish star has made no secret of the fact that there’s still so much about her sport, and the world, that she’s eager to learn.

And if you ask her, she thinks three retired tennis greats can help her do that.

Prompted by a reporter at the All England Club after her first-round win over Sofia Kenin to name who from tennis, past or present, she’d most like to invite to a dinner party, Swiatek name-dropped three of the WTA’s most prolific champions: Steffi Graf, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

Despite being the highest-paid female athlete in the world in 2023 according to Forbes, Swiatek says she can still develop her business acumen—something for which Sharapova was particularly shrewd in as an active player, and continues to be since her 2020 retirement.

Sharapova … we never really talked because she kind of retired when I was still going up,” she said. “I feel like she made some good decisions off the court in terms of her business, and she handled everything well. You can kind of take [an] example from her.”

“It’s hard for me to compare our styles,” she said. “Obviously we’re playing in different eras of tennis. It’s kind of hard to find the same things, especially with her backhand and her slice, her volley, and me not being able to play these kind of things. So more about mentality.”

Swiatek might get her wish, in the immediate future or the long-term, if she finds a way to join the vaunted trio in lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish for the first time and earn herself All England Club membership for life.

The top seed’s quest to become the first player since Williams in 2015 to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same year continues on Thursday against Croatia’s Petra Martic in a second-round Centre Court tilt.

We’d like to be a fly on the wall for that meal.

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