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The world has changed, for sure, but I’m the same: Swiatek

Now No 1 in the world, Poland’s Iga Swiatek said she was more relaxed than usual before a Grand Slam in Paris this fortnight

Iga Swiatek at the Internazionali BNL D Italia in Rome Iga Swiatek at the Internazionali BNL D Italia in Rome Image Credit: Imago / Panoramic

The big favourite at Roland-Garros thanks to five consecutive titles and 28 wins in a row over the past three months, Iga Swiatek has said that the situation has not affected the pressure she’s felling. Rather, the opposite.

“The world has changed, for sure (smiling). But I feel like I’m staying the same player and the same person. Still I feel like there is a lot to improve, so I think these are the main keys that this is my base that I’m leaning on. This year I feel like it’s been easier for me not to think about matches, because also, there are many things we can do like go sightseeing, even go on a walk. Last year with the bubbles it was pretty hard, and it was kind of normal that we are all thinking about tennis because that was the only thing that we did, basically. This year I feel like I found more distance to it,” said the Pole during a press conference on Friday at Roland-Garros.

In a jovial mood, Swiatek shared what she plans to do during her time off in Paris. “Well, I’m reading a lot, as usual, so nothing special. Watching TV show. And, well today, for example, it’s going to be my day off so for sure I’m going to go sightseeing if the weather is going to get better. When I had my practice days, I was hoping it’s going to rain, so I’m going to have more days off, but it’s raining when I have day off, so as usual.”

At the beginning, I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed and a little bit maybe scared of what’s going to happen: Swiatek on becoming world No 1

Swiatek also spoke about how it felt being the top-ranked player in the world and the vacuum created by the sudden retirement of Australia’s Ash Barty.

“Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about my ranking, but that’s a good question, because usually when I was climbing up the rankings, I didn’t even know at what stage I was, honestly. I was just going forward, and I didn’t really care if I’m 50 or 100, you know. Well, for sure at the beginning I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed and a little bit maybe scared of what’s going to happen. Also, I was feeling pretty sad, because I wasn’t expecting that Ash is going to retire. I thought that she has the best things out there. So it was just a shame for me that we are not going to be able to play against each other,” she explained.

Swiatek opens her French Open campaign against qualifier Lesia Tsurenko in the first round.

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