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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Thursday, May 2, 2024

Iga Swiatek owns enough weapons to fill her Tecnifibre racquet bag.

World No. 1 Swiatek is one of the sport's speediest players, possesses a hellacious topspin forehand, flat backhand and varied serve.

More: Brave Rybakina Saves Match Points, Into Madrid SF

The top-seeded Swiatek's most underrated weapon?

Swiatek is a champion compressor, says Madison Keys.

In the aftermath of Swiatek's 6-1, 6-3 sweep of Keys in today's Mutua Madrid Open semifinals, the 2017 US Open finalist detailed the challenge of facing Swiatek.

The four-time Grand Slam champion's consistent depth, combined with the fact she's so skilled hitting the ball on the rise, squeezes both space and response time for opponents.

"I think she doesn't seem like she's ever really going for that much, but I was also really impressed today with her depth and her shot placement," Keys said of Swiatek. "I mean, every single ball was basically an inch from the line, and you can't really ever gain any court when that's the ball that's coming at you."

Pinned behind the baseline by Swiatek's topspin can force opponents to pull the trigger too quickly and play low-percentage drives down the line, Keys said.

Consequently, as Swiatek grows sharper, opponents error counts can pile up as they go bigger.

"So I feel like she makes her opponents start going for a little bit too much in trying to do things that they don't really have the ball for," Keys said. "I think, you know, you win a point or two, and you have to work so hard to do that or you have to play such a great point to win the point that it's hard to consistently do that when every ball that's coming back at you is, you know, it's coming quick, it's coming deep, it's coming with good margin."

Photo credit: Porsche Grand Prix Tennis Facebook