Former Slovak tennis star, Daniela Hantuchova, has backed Polish sensation Iga Swiatek to add to her big gains in 2020 and be in the hunt for more titles next year.
She also made a huge prediction on two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep, saying the Romanian would make a strong comeback to the circuit next year.
Daniela Hantuchova backs Iga Swiatek to add to her 2020 gains
"I play for the game and something much bigger than myself."@Iga_Swiatek plays for coming back stronger 💪
— wta (@WTA) December 3, 2020
Her first Major title saw the Pole move up the ranking ladder and also sent her stocks skyrocketing.
Swiatek finished the season at 17th in the WTA singles rankings.
Swiatek reminded Hantuchova of Martina Hingis
Speaking to Tennis365, Hantuchova said she was hugely impressed with what she saw of the 19-year-old Pole star (no pun intended) and hopes she can build on from her maiden Grand Slam success.
“There have been so many different winners and unusual results this year that it makes it impossible to predict what might happen in 2021, but it was not to be incredibly impressed with what we saw from Iga Swiatek at the French Open,” she said.
She said watching Swiatek in action reminded her of former five-time Grand Slam winning Swiss star Martina Hingis.
“The way she played with such easy power reminded me a little of Martina Hingis. The way she moves around the court was so good.
“She has amazing timing on the ball and strikes it so cleanly, so she is certainly one to watch next year,” said Hantuchova, a former World Number 5.
Simona Halep could have a great year, predicts Hantuchova
She also said Halep’s injury-forced absence from tennis would only whet her appetite for more titles next season.
— Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) January 17, 2020
“I think Simona Halep is another player who could come back and have a great year after everything that has happened to the world in 2020,” the former Slovak tennis star said.
Hantuchova hopes for a full WTA season in 2021
Hantuchova said she hopes for a full WTA season in 2021 as it would enable the tennis world to assess rising stars in the women’s game on the yardstick of consistency.
“…it would be nice to think we could have a normal tennis year that might give us a better chance to judge the players when they are playing consistently again,” Hantuchova said.
The WTA is reportedly working on a plan to get around scheduling and logistical worries because of the pandemic and kick off the 2021 season outside Australia on or around June 4.