Martina Navratilova picks Iga Swiatek as WTA Finals favourite

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova is backing Iga Swiatek to continue her superlative year at the WTA Finals this week.

The Polish superstar has notched up no less than 64 wins in 2022, notching up eight WTA titles in the process and cementing her place at the top of women's tennis.

Now, the best eight players on the circuit are set to battle it out at the season-ending WTA Finals, beginning in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday.

"You have to go with Swiatek," Navratilova told wtatennis.com.

"How can you go against her? She would probably adapt the best to whatever the speed of the court is going to be. She's got pretty compact strokes, even though she puts a lot of topspin on that forehand. It's not a massive swing, so she can deal with the faster court.

"And growing up in Poland, she probably would have practiced a lot on faster courts so she can adapt to that. If it's slow, great, the topspin will pay off for her. I can't go against her because she's never going to beat herself.

"She won two of the four majors, and the rest of it is just mind-blowing. When I had a great year, at the year-end championships, you relaxed. It's 'I had a great year, I don't have to prove anything.' She's had a couple of weeks off. There's absolutely no pressure on her, so she could play probably the most free tennis of anybody there."

And who can challenge the indomitable Swiatek? Navratilova alluded to world number two Ons Jabeur, who has enjoyed a fantastic second half to the season, having reached the Wimbledon and US Open finals for the first time.

Navratilova believes the Turk can turn the disappointment of losing those finals into motivation for the season finale.

"She'll be hungry," said the 18-time grand slam winner of Jabeur.

"Losing those two finals... it sucks losing in the final of a major. You have to stay on the court for that extra 15 minutes, when you just want to get to the locker room and have a beer. She may be the hungriest of all of them.

"It's a big event and could be a springboard for next year. She might be the one with the most to prove. It's funny, No.1 and No.2... one has nothing to prove and the other one might be the hungriest."

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