MIAMI — World No.1 Iga Swiatek will debut a new look on court when she turns to her favorite part of the tennis calendar next month. The Polish star is leaving behind Asics to sign an apparel deal with On, the Swiss-running brand that counts Roger Federer as a co-owner. Along with the ATP’s 20-year-old phenom Ben Shelton, Swiatek will spearhead the company’s first foray into tennis apparel.
“I think just the fact that Roger is involved in that kind of company is just a good recommendation for tennis players,” Swiatek told reporters at the Miami Open, where she was forced to withdraw due to rib injury. “I think also he influenced a lot on [the company’s] side, so that’s why they want to go further and they want to sign players.”
Swiatek confessed she has yet to meet Federer in person because her debut on tour coincided with the Swiss legend’s reduced injury-plagued schedule. But the two were in conversation during her decision-making process. Swiatek will wear a custom edition of THE ROGER Pro, a competition shoe designed individually for her play style, with consultation from Federer and the On innovation team.
“I’m pretty happy that we could make it happen because I feel like we share the same values,” Swiatek said. “They have a personal approach for the players. I feel like it’s treating me first like a person, but not mainly as a machine to win, you know?
“It’s a nice feeling to have that kind of support. I’m really happy that I’m starting this new chapter.”
Swiatek was set to debut her new look at the Miami Open, where she was the defending champion. But an injury sustained during her run to the semifinals at Indian Wells last week ruled her out of competition.
The next event on her schedule is the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she is the defending champion. Stuttgart begins on April 17.