“I know what I need to change, and I’ll do it” – Swiatek still determined to get better on grass

Grass court ended in a dissapointing loss for Iga Swiatek in 2024, but there’s hope that she’ll get it right next time around

Swiatek no grass 2024 Chryslene Caillaud / Panoramic

It wasn’t the result she wanted. It wasn’t the preparation she wanted. And Saturday’s 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 loss certainly wasn’t the way that Iga Swiatek wanted her grass-court season to end. Another difficult third-round loss – and from a set up, no less.

After the match Swiatek spoke to reporters and tried to explain her feelings about it.

“I totally let her come back to the game in the second set,” she said. “I shouldn’t have done that. I made some mistakes, as well. But for sure, she used her chance.”


I know what I did wrong after Roland Garros. I didn’t really rest properly. I’m not going to make this mistake again.

— Iga Swiatek

Putintseva raced away with the win while Swiatek spewed unforced errors (an un-Swiatek-like 38 in total) to fall to 11-5 lifetime at Wimbledon, as she lost from one set up for the seventh time in her Grand Slam career.

And so it goes. Grass continues to be a problem for the five-time major champion, and Wimbledon continues to be a major hurdle as she attempts to expand her Grand Slam empire.

But it must be said that Swiatek came to London under the most difficult circumstances. After running the table on clay in spring, she was spent by mid-June, and elected not to play a warmup tournament on the grass like she did last year. The extra reps on grass could have helped her be more comfortable this week at Wimbledon (she did so last year, and reached a career-best quarter-final), but the 23-year-old says that the real reason she struggled is that she never had a chance to refill her energy reserves.

I need to recover better after clay season

It’s not a physical thing, nor is it necessarily tactical or technical. For Swiatek it’s mental.

“I feel like on grass I need little bit more of that energy to keep being patient and accept some mistakes,” she told the press. “Like mentally, I didn’t really do that well on this tournament. I need to recover better after clay court season, both physically and mentally.”

Having won Roland-Garros in four of the last six seasons, the Pole is always the last player off of the red clay. Add in the specter of the 2024 Paris Olympics later this month, on clay in Paris, and we can see why Swiatek didn’t find the time to cultivate the right balance this year.

It’s not that she isn’t equipped or talented enough to win on grass, she just has to figure out how to make the transition and get into that deep focus that characterises her success on the clay.

“For me going from this kind of tennis where I felt like I’m playing the best tennis in my life to another surface where I kind of struggle a little bit more, it’s not easy,” she said, adding that now is not the time to dwell, because it’s time to move on. “I lost in the third round. I felt like I underachieved a little bit. But it’s tennis, so you have to move on. I’ll have many more chances this year to show my game. I’ll just focus on that.” 

The good news is that Swiatek seems to believe she knows what she needs to do next time. In 2025 she’ll have a more clear vision of how she can find that peak Iga on the grass.

“For sure, I felt like my energy level went down little bit in the second set,” she said. “I couldn’t really get back up. I know what I need to change, and I’ll do that. But grass season is over, so it’s not like I need to really think about this match in terms of analyzing for next week because basically it’s going to be totally different on clay and hard court.”

If success on the grass still hasn’t come in five years, then we can panic. Now is not the time.

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