Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz made up the mixed doubles duo of Poland in the duel against the Kazakhs Zhibek Kulambayeva and Grigoriy Lomakin for Group B of the united cup in Brisbane, Australia. It was a triumph for the most exalted couple by 6-3 and 6-4, but the most salient thing was that the No. 1 in the world delighted the spectators with what her partner defined as “The shot of the year on January 1st”.
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The match with the ”magical winner”, as defined by the competition on its official site, allowed the Poles to close the series with a resounding 4-1. It was in the sixth game when Swiatek faithfully ran a Lomakin volley that would have been impossible for any mortal. However, the protagonist of the story not only arrived, but also returned a backhand and managed to locate the ball between the net and the umpire’s chair, with such precision that she managed to turn a completely unfavorable situation into a well-deserved ovation. Sure, such a piece of art quickly went viral.
The Pole was encouraged to share the move on her Twitter account and involve Roger Federer, another ace with a sensitive wrist, who has patented the shot with which Swiatek stood out. “Do you approve, Roger?”he wrote to the Swiss, recently retired.
The Basel native picked up the glove, imbibed the tweet and praised the action. “This was crazy”, he initialed, adding three emojis of exploding heads. The growth of Iga, which will celebrate just 22 years in May, is exponential. In 2022 she achieved the trophies in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome, Roland Garros, US Open and San Diego. She went on a 37-match unbeaten streak between February and June, the longest in women since 1990. And she became the first player to end the year with more than 10,000 ranking points since 2015, when Serena Williams did it. .
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2023 presents Swiatek with the challenge of sustaining excellence and continuing to nurture the dimension of his legend. Judging by the point that he wrested admiration from Roger Federer himself, he seems to be on the right track…
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