“Today I felt really comfortable and confident” – Swiatek aces China Open debut

Iga Swiatek was pleased with her net play in round one of the China Open, and is focusing on her own game ahead of her next match

Iga Swiatek, China Open, 2023 2023 AF / Panoramic

World No 2 Iga Swiatek debuted at the China Open in the best possible fashion on Monday, defeating Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

Courtesy of the performance byes being implemented on the Asian swing of the WTA Tour this year, Swiatek did not receive a bye in the first round, something which did not concern the Pole as much as it has other players on Tour.

“For me, doesn’t matter if I’m going to play one more match.,” said Swiatek after her victory over Sorribes Tormo. “It’s another opportunity for me to kind of win and to play. So it really doesn’t matter for me if I play another match or not.”

Swiatek pleased with first up performance at China Open

After suffering a tough loss in the quarter-finals of the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis WTA 250 in Tokyo last week, Iga Swiatek was happy with the way she played to open her account here in Beijing.

“I love playing on the court. I thought the court was really nice. I enjoyed the game. I’m happy that I’m through to the next round,” the 22-year-old said to the China Open media, before going on to explain what she was happy with about her performance.

“I feel like I was pretty patient. You have to be patient with her because she’s running for every ball. I kind of wanted to just be solid and be intensive but not make too many mistakes with risking. I’m pretty happy I could balance that. It just worked, so I’m happy.”

Specifically, Swiatek was proud of the way she played at the net against Sorribes Tormo, winning 15 of 17 approaches in the first set.

“Today I felt really confident and comfortable because I’ve been practicing that a lot. I’m pretty proud of my performance at the net because, like, technically I feel like my volley as changed. Yeah, I’m really happy with that.”

Gracheva up next as Swiatek focuses on own game

Since losing the No 1 ranking, a common narrative from Iga Swiatek and her team has been her desire to focus on herself and her own game moving forward. The Pole again reiterated this sentiment ahead of her second round match against Varvara Gracheva, a player she came through the junior circuit with.

“I don’t know what to expect because tennis is pretty unpredictable,” said Swiatek of her upcoming match. “The only thing I have influence on is my game and my mentality so I’ll just be 100% focused on what I want to do. For sure tactically I’ll prepare because everything is tight on WTA.”

“I really just want to focus on myself.”

Swiatek was drawn into commenting on the hot topic of performance byes, however, with the former No 1 taking a different stance to many of the other players on Tour this week:

“I think it’s smart because usually when I had the tournaments, when I really played till the end, I know how it is to rush to another tournament and not really have time to rest and prepare,” Swiatek explained. “So I think that rule is fine. I think that rule makes sense. Yeah, it’s for sure different because usually the top-seeded player gets the bye.”

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