Iga Swiatek admits it was not easy for her to handle all the pressure she faced at the start of the year

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek admitted that she faced a lot of pressure at the start of the year, which was not easy for her to handle. The 21-year-old came on the back of a brilliant 2022 season, which saw her win two Grand Slams and register a 37-match winning streak — the longest unbeaten run of the 21st century on the WTA Tour.

Speaking at her pre-tournament press conference at the 2023 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, the defending champion was asked about her season so far, which has lived up to the ridiculous standards Swiatek has set for herself.

Following a fourth-round exit at the Australian Open (loss to Elena Rybakina), the World No. 1 won the title at the Qatar Open and finished as the runner-up at the Dubai Tennis Championships (loss to Barbora Krejcikova). She then made the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (loss to Rybakina) before pulling out of the Miami Open due to injury.

All three of her losses so far have come in straight sets, leading one journalist to ask the Pole if she has been panicking a little too fast this season. Iga Swiatek, understandably, answered in the negative, remarking that she only lost because her opponents had been “pretty solid” in the clash.

“Well, no, I wouldn’t say so. You know, I have been talking about, you know, what happened in Australia, all the pressure that I faced. So for sure it wasn’t easy back there,” Iga Swiatek said.

“But I would say, you know, I lost against pretty solid players, you know, Barbora, Elena, and I know they can play good tennis. For sure, you know, I want to not lose, not play tight matches because I want to win easy, but for sure when it comes to — the only thing I can do, it’s kind of there for the future and think what I have to change,” she added.
The three-time Grand Slam champion could not care less whether her losses came in straight sets or three sets, declaring that her defeats had nothing to do with her mentality and were simply a part of tennis.

I wouldn’t say it has something to do with mentality or anything. It’s just how these matches were played, you know, and that’s fine, but I’m not really coming back to that. As you see, I didn’t even know that I didn’t play a three-set match, so I don’t really care,” Swiatek said.
“I’m keeping my expectations low, but for sure I want to play best tennis possible” – Iga Swiatek on her title defense in Stuttgart

Iga Swiatek then spoke about her impending title defense in Stuttgart, stating that she, like any other player, would love to win the tournament once again. However, the World No. 1 was keeping expectations low, considering this was her first tournament on clay this year.

While she admitted to feeling rusty, the 21-year-old promised to play her best tennis at the WTA 500 event, where she will begin her campaign against Qinwen Zheng in the second round.


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