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Swiatek sends message to her rivals: “I feel like I’m getting stronger and stronger in the mind”

The world No 1 says she will try not to compare her 2023 season to 2022, when she won eight titles, including two slams

Iga Swiatek United Cup 2022 @ United Cup

World No 1 Iga Swiatek kicked off her new season with a typically brutal 6-1, 6-3 win over Yulia Putintseva at the United Cup, a trouble-free start to the new year.

The Pole was in fine form on the court and off it as she looked back on a stellar 2022, in which she won two Grand Slams, and ahead to 2023, when she hopes to cement her position on top of the world.

To do that, she’ll need to remain clear-headed and she’s already figured out the key.

“I just think that (it would) be pretty easy for my head to kind of compare everything to last year,” she said. “I feel like it’s not going to be helpful, because last year was so – on the one hand, it wasn’t perfect – but sometimes when you win tournaments, all your head can remember is those good moments and that it went so smoothly.

“It wasn’t like that, but I didn’t really want to go into those tournaments and be held back by my previous results. I wanted to treat (them) as new chapters, so I’m going to try to do that. This is the biggest challenge, I’d say.”

Swiatek won eight titles in all in 2022, including a second Roland-Garros crown and a first at the US Open. At 21, she seems to have it all figured out and will go into the Australian Open as the strong favourite.

“Yeah, we’ll see how I’m going to go with that,” she said. “Usually when I have goals like that, I had like ups and downs, but I feel like I’m getting stronger and stronger in my mind, so maybe I’m going to be able to control that.”

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