“I’ll do it differently next time, so I guess that’s positive” – Swiatek on losing the No 1 ranking

The 22-year-old admits that the season has been really tough and intense and is looking forward to having some time to reset

Iga Swiatek at the 2023 US Open Iga Swiatek at the 2023 US Open

Poland’s Iga Swiatek has been the world’s top-ranked player since April 2022. That’s a pretty long stretch given some of the shorter stints we have been at the top of the women’s game. During that time, the Pole won three Grand Slam titles (two French Opens and a US Open) and seemed to move into her role as the leader of the women’s game rather well.

However, Swiatek did admit on Sunday night, after losing her fourth-round match to Jelena Ostapenko at the US Open and the world No 1 ranking in the process, that she found being the top-ranked player a bit stressful and would do things differently the next time she finds herself back at the top.

“There are plenty of things that I know I should have done differently. Maybe I’m not mature enough yet to do that,” the 22-year-old said. “I’m really working hard to not think about this stuff a lot. Sometimes when you force yourself not to think about stuff, the result is the opposite. I’m really happy that I have smart people around me and they are telling me how to do it, and they are guiding me. But it’s on me to actually make it happen. For sure when I’m going to be next time in the same situation, I’m going to do some stuff differently because it was a little bit stressful, and it shouldn’t be. Tennis is stressful overall, but I should embrace it a little bit more. I’ll do it differently next time, so I guess that’s positive.”

“I’m just happy that I will have time to reset a little bit” – Swiatek

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek with the Roland-Garros trophy (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Looking back at her season and reign as world No 1, Swiatek said it was great but also exhausting and that she is glad to have some time to reset now.

“It was great. On the other hand, this last part, it was pretty exhausting. I still need to do all this stuff that my team and all these great players like Roger (Federer) or Novak (Djokovic) or Rafa (Nadal) are telling about: you just have to focus on the tournaments, not the rankings. But for me, usually I’m not looking at numbers, but overall, I love them. I would love to extend this record a little bit longer. This is something that when I was younger, I actually kind of wanted to break some record or have something. I already did that because I already won a slam as a first Polish player. But for sure when you lose it, there are some sad emotions. As I said at the beginning, all these great players know it’s going to come back if you’re going to work hard, focus on the right things, just develop as a player.”

“This season was – is still – the hardest part is already done for me, but this season was really tough and intense. It’s not easy to cope with all of this stuff. I’m just happy that I will have time to reset a little bit.”

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