“Towards the end, when it was known that Aryna Sabalenka was coming, the media started talking about it so much that it was hard for me to distance myself from it and remember that it is only a ranking. And the ranking is only points and the effect of what is happening on the court,” said Iga Świątek, referring to the latest events of the season. In an interview with RMF FM, the tennis player talked about what she likes most and what bothers her during the long season. How has her perception of tennis changed over the 75 weeks that she was continuously at the top of the WTA rankings? The 22-year-old also talked about the role books play in her life.
Iga Świątek has recently been taking a break from sports competition. She played for the last time in the US Open, which she lost after losing in the fourth round to Latvian Jelena Ostapenko. Our tennis player admits in an interview with RMF FM that she now had some time to rest and stay at home, because – as she says – she started to miss him.
The defeat in New York meant that the Pole dropped from first place in the WTA ranking after 75 weeks. She admits that it was a difficult period for her, similar to the series of victories last spring. The expectations were constantly growing, as was the pressure.
It’s a similar situation, although I was number one for longer, of course. Towards the end, when it was known that Aryna Sabalenka was coming, the media started talking about it so much that it was hard for me to distance myself from it and remember that it was just a ranking. And the ranking is only points and the effect of what happens on the court. That 37-game stretch last season was shorter. Now, in the case of the first place in the ranking, I have the impression that there was even more confusion around it all than in the previous situation – explains Świątek, adding that the period when she led the ranking taught her a lot.
It’s amazing how perspective changes. Practically, not much has changed, but how we approach various issues can change the picture. At the beginning, I felt that in a sense I didn’t deserve to be a leader so quickly and I had time to prove it, that I was in a good place. Later I had the impression that it gave me a lot of benefits. I took advantage of this momentum and went from match to match with more and more self-confidence. I had the impression that the situation was favorable to me. There are new challenges this year, like starting the year as number one. In Australia I felt pressure, it was a difficult time – she admits.
“It’s worth appreciating what you’ve done every day”
Iga Świątek has been achieving numerous successes on world courts for many months. She won a lot of matches during this time. The tennis player agrees with the opinion that her victories are simply expected by fans and we increasingly ignore them as a daily occurrence.
I think it is, one hundred percent. I myself (I have the impression) that when I play the first rounds of tournaments, victories have become an everyday occurrence for me. This is not entirely good, because every day it is worth appreciating what you have done. For example, the fact that I am in a position that allows me to win these first matches. As for the fans, it seems natural to me that they go in this direction. I have to appreciate how much I have managed to do and how much more I can do – emphasizes the tennis player.
Our tennis player is on the tennis tour for another year. As she says, the best and worst thing in her tennis career is related to traveling.
The positive thing is how the season is divided. We always spend the first part in Australia and the region. When I know there are specific tournaments coming up, I feel like I miss those places. I want to go there, come back. I’ve gotten to know them so much that sometimes I feel at home. For example, I haven’t been to Australia for so long that I’m sure I’ll be excited just thinking about it in January. Later it will be the same with Indian Wells and Miami, as with tournaments in Europe and good food in Rome and Madrid. Traveling is great, but there is also a negative thing that comes with it. It’s jet lag. Sometimes we also have little time in one place and this can make us feel overwhelmed. This is the nature of this sport. We spend our entire lives out of suitcases and that can be demanding. Maybe in the future we will play one less tournament and I will be able to stay at home one week longer? This may change your perspective, says the 22-year-old.
“Thanks to reading, I could break away and be in a different world”
At the beginning of the year, the Pole proposed a reading challenge to her fans. Books recommended by fans, but also by Iga Świątek herself, can be found under the hashtag #IGAczyta on social media.
I find all the books included in this challenge interesting. I choose my favorite books there. Now, after the US Open, I took a break from reading. It’s not like I’m buried in books. I choose the most interesting books for the “reading challenge” to encourage people. Maybe if they like this one, they’ll pick up another one? In this way, I would like to encourage reading. Thanks to reading, I could sometimes break away and be in a different world. Sometimes this is the best form of relaxation and rest. I’m focused on it and I kind of experience it in my own way, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m having a nice time. If I don’t read for too long, I feel like I don’t have enough time in my life. This is a signal to me that this balance is not maintained – says our tennis player.
Iga Świątek now has appearances at tournaments in Asia. He will play at tournaments in Tokyo and Beijing.