Tennis

Iga Swiatek living professional tennis life on a double-edged sword

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     “It’s a lot to take in and I’m working through it day by day at my own pace. It will take some time, but on the other hand I’m excited,” Iga Swiatek said after the crown was given to her when Ashleigh Barty retired. The emotions were flowing when the Australian decided to quite tennis for good. Swiatek says “I was crying for a long time.” It’s a wonder why she was crying but it might have been tears of sorrow for Barty leaving and tears of joy for becoming number one. Iga might have seen the anxiety and expectations coming but there was nothing that could be done.

     She’s accomplished 13 titles as of April 24 and 4 Grand Slams as of this year. Iga has won the French Open in 2020, 2022 as well winning the U.S. Open in 2022. She’d beaten out Coco Gauff for the Roland Garros title this year. Last season was a very big one for the 22-year-old Pole who vividly remembers her mental transitions. “One day I’m  just 100% focused on my performance during another match and the next day I’m realizing how to live as number one.” A huge change of lifestyle. She won the ‘Sunshine Double’ last year with Indian Wells and the Miami Open. She had a 37-match winning streak broken by France’s Alize Cornet at the last Wimbledon Championships. “I’m not going to be hard on myself, it was kind of logical,” she said quietly. I guess at any given time she knew she’d be defeated. Iga has won on clay three times and hard court once but grass has eluded her to a point. When she walks out on court, the crowd may be divided some wishing her well and another success on her racquet. The other portion wants to see if she’ll lose and how she’ll take the defeat. Many matches won or loss can result in only a few points. When Iga plays and falls behind that few points or games, a different mentality comes over her. It’s an infrequent situation, losing is whereas her opponents get nervous when they’re about to win. It’s terribly difficult to handle both.

     The pleasures and strategies prevail and Iga says that from her loss to Cornet”…I feel like I can kind of move forward and just focus on my next goals…I can play better tennis on hard courts,” she had said. Many say ‘better’? What’s better when she consistently wins? The hard courts thing may be a bit twisted. Now she may really want to dig it out, play gritty and do whatever it takes to get not only another grand slam but on the surface that many find difficult and that’s on grass and of course the biggest stage around — the Wimbledon Championships!

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