Former 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova says women's tennis is in "good hands" with Iga Swiatek at the top. After Ashleigh Barty announced a shock retirement from tennis at 25, Swiatek replaced the former three-time Grand Slam champion at the top spot.
Since then, Swiatek has established herself as the most dominant player and the new face of women's tennis. Navratilova, one of the biggest icons in tennis history, has praised Swiatek. “I think women’s tennis is in good hands, with Iga Swiatek at the top and many players who want to get to the top.
I think that, you know, we can’t replace Roger Federer or Serena Williams, but we can bring in new faces that make us feel better about ourselves and keep us entertained”. Navratilova told CNN en Español’s Elizabeth Pérez.
Barty, who captured her third and final Grand Slam at this year's Australian Open, had a comfortable lead at the top spot. After winning Doha and Indian Wells, Swiatek cut a bit of the deficit between her and Barty but she was still too far from overtaking the Australian at the top spot.
Then just before the start of the WTA 1000 tournament in Miami, Barty announced her decision to retire from professional tennis at 25. Swiatek, who at the time was the second-ranked player in the world, replaced Barty at the top spot after Miami.
In an interview with Dominik Senkowski, Swiatek admitted that Barty's retirement put her a bit in a tough position. "The fact that Ash decided to end her career, I was number two for less than a week, and then in one day I became number one, only meant that I had to quickly find myself in a new, incredibly demanding situation," Swiatek explained.