Swiatek says she’ll be fit for French Open defence after thigh injury

The world No 1 says the extra time she’s had to prepare could be an advantage at Roland-Garros

Iga Swiatek RG Zuma/Panoramic

World No 1 Iga Swiatek says she’ll be ready to begin the defence of her French Open title despite the fact that she is still recovering from a minor thigh injury.

The Pole, who will be chasing her fourth Grand Slam title, suffered the injury in the semi-finals of the Italian Open.

“Luckily nothing serious happened, so I had couple of days off,” Swiatek said. “I’m still recovering from the thigh injury, but I’ll be good for my first round. That’s the most important thing for me.”

Iga Swiatek Rome 2023

Extra time off helpful

Swiatek said the few extra days off could actually help her as she tries to win the title for the third time in four years.

“On one hand, for sure, it’s not easy getting injured and having it in the back of your mind that you have a tournament next week,” she told reporters at Roland-Garros. “But on the other hand I’m pretty happy that I have these extra few more days off because for sure I needed time to reset.

“Since the beginning of Stuttgart I was just doing everything to play matches the best way, and that was the only thing I focused on. Having this time to reset and think about other stuff and just calm down for a couple of days was really helpful. And to also analyse what happened during the whole clay season. It’s a nice way to kind of going to the last tournament of the clay season with all the knowledge that I gained.

“I’m trying to take positives from that situation. So I feel like I have more time for sure than last year after Rome. I can more calmly prepare to Roland Garros.”

Swiatek on the big three

Swiatek is still ranked No 1 but could lose that ranking if she fails to make the semi-finals this year, testament to the battles she’s been given by Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina.

Rybakina has won the last three meetings with Swiatek while Sabalenka won the Australian Open, making a big three in the women’s game.

“Totally different situation than last year,” Swiatek said. “It’s nice to have somebody constantly like kind of watching you. We played so many matches against each other that tactically we know our game pretty well.

“But we also have to kind of come up with some different solutions sometimes, which is pretty exciting, because I never had that yet in my career. I think this is what like big three (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) had to do for sure when they played like, I don’t know, 30 matches against each other or even more. So I’m happy to learn some new stuff. And also, for sure, you know, we are all working really hard to kind of play better and better. It is an extra motivation, for sure.

“But the thing is during the season we don’t have much time to practice at all. So I’m really using this time right now, because it’s my first week since I would say even Indian Wells when I have time to like take everything slowly and just focus on my technique a little bit more. And, yeah, I think it’s going to give me a lot of confidence going to the tournament.”

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