WTA Finals favourite, Iga Swiatek has battled the weight of expectation since winning her first major title and becoming the World No.1 albeit sealing the latter spot through Ashleigh Barty retiring over her own rise.
Now being World Number Two, Swiatek has spoken about the freedom it gives her compared to the expectation of top spot. Albeit, this is a facet that Martina Navratilova has refuted, but speaking ahead of the WTA Finals, Swiatek admitted that people wanting her to fall and fail was apparent by the time she lost top spot.
“The #1 ranking position can give you wings & add positive energy. However, at the end of the period when I was a leader, I felt that the whole world was waiting for me to fall from this position. It wasn’t easy.
“I know I did everything to stay ahead. I am aware that if I work well, I will quickly return to this position. When you’re #2, it’s a similar situation to most of your career. It’s easier to concentrate to develop as a tennis player.”
Swiatek will begin her WTA Finals campaign on Monday and was speaking to Sport Interia Poland before action begins in Cancun. There is a feasibility that she will return to top spot after the WTA Finals, with one of the dominant storylines being her vs Aryna Sabalenka for who will end the year as World No.1.