“I feel like I’m the kid from kindergarten” – World No 1 Swiatek on Serena Williams

Iga Swiatek has never had the opportunity to play Serena Williams yet and her time is running out as the American’s retirement edges closer

Iga Swiatek and Serena Williams Iga Swiatek and Serena Williams Image Credits: Aurelien Morissard / Icon SMI/ Panoramic/ Tennis Majors

Iga Swiatek is the reigning world No 1 in women’s tennis and a two-time Grand Slam champion. Earlier this year, she went on a 37-match winning streak that has given her a very comfortable cushion at the top of the world rankings.

But despite all her achievements, Swiatek admitted on Monday that she feels like a kid from kindergarten in front of Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion and arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, who announced last week that she would be retiring from the sport over the next few weeks.

Speaking to the media on Monday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Swiatek admitted she has tried to say hi to Williams on a couple of occasions but has not mustered the courage to do so.

“I have a hard time catching eye contact with Serena,” Swiatek said. “It’s tough because she always had so many people around her, and I’m pretty shy and when I look at her I kind of forget that I’m here as the World No.1. I feel like I’m the kid from kindergarten.”

The Pole has never played Williams and the two can only meet in the final this week as they are in opposites halves of the Cincinnati draw.

“I would love to just to see how it is to see her on the other side of the net,” Swiatek said.

After a first-round bye, Swiatek starts her Cincinnati campaign against former US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the second round while Williams takes on the reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the first round on Tuesday.

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