June 14, 2024
Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek came from behind to beat Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia (Getty Images)

Iga Swiatek addresses her latest feat in Madrid and also comments on Garbine Muguruza’s retirement.
Iga Swiatek admits it feels “pretty crazy” for her to see herself hitting 100 weeks at the world No. 1 as the 22-year-old Pole “never expected” to be doing the stuff that she has been accomplishing.

Although Swiatek hitting 100 weeks this Monday was confirmed weeks ago, the Pole didn’t officially join the 100-club until this week started. At just 22 years old, Swiatek managed to become the ninth player in WTA history to have spent at least 100 weeks at the top spot.

To make it all even more impressive, it all happened in two years. On April 2nd, 2022, Swiatek replaced Ashleigh Barty as the new world No. 1. Since then, there have been only eight weeks in late 2023 when Swiatek was ranked at No. 2 and Aryna Sabalenka sitting at the top spot.

Now, Swiatek suggests it feels kind of surreal to her as she admits all of this success happened so fast and probably came in an unpredictable way.

“Honestly it’s hard for me to get a grasp of it because it happened so fast,” Swiatek said of the feat, via the Madrid Open website.

“It’s pretty crazy. I never expected to be in that position. Actually, staying at the top of the game for so long is something that really makes me proud. I think we made some tough decisions sometimes. I have good people that are guiding me and helping me so for sure I wouldn’t be here if I would do it by myself and I’m really grateful that everything led to that.

“As you know, especially last year, getting back to No.1 was a big deal and it happened in an unpredictable way, so I’m just proud of myself that I could cope with all the pressure that comes with that. But overall it’s kind of fun.”

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek

Swiatek on Garbine Muguruza’s early retirement
On Saturday, Spanish media reported that Muguruza called a press conference that day. Since Muguruza’s last match came in 2023 January, the general belief and expectation were that the former two-time Grand Slam champion was calling it to announce her retirement. And exactly that happened as the 30-year-old Spaniard said she decided to officially close the tennis chapter and start another chapter in her life.

During her career, Muguruza accomplished two biggest dreams of every player – she won two Grand Slams between 2016 and 2017 and also reached the world No. 1 spot in 2017. When Muguruza was at her peak, Swiatek wasn’t even a pro tennis player.

Addressing Muguruza’s retirement, Swiatek revealed she was actually inspired by the Spaniard’s success.

“When I was younger I was looking at her achievements when she won Roland Garros and Wimbledon, I was thinking maybe she’s going to be my favourite WTA player. Because I always liked Rafa (Nadal), but I never really had anybody on the WTA to follow,” Swiatek said.

“Garbine was actually one of them for a while and then I started playing on tour so it was pretty weird to be fangirling about anybody. She’s a great player and a nice person.”

Garbine Muguruza
Garbine Muguruza

Swiatek may turn to Muguruza for advice in this area
In tennis, it’s not common to see a tennis player having two Grand Slam titles and those coming on the clay courts of the French Open and the grass courts of Wimbledon. But Muguruza found a way to be a strong force on both surfaces, that are completely different from one another.

When it comes to Swiatek, she is a four-time Grand Slam champion and the French Open has been by far her top Slam tournament – she has three titles there and has also won one at the US Open. On Wimbledon’s grass, Swiatek has played four times and only once made the quarterfinal – last year.

For Swiatek, improving on grass and becoming a strong force on clay and grass like Muguruza is absolutely one of her wishes. And Swiatek may turn to Muguruza for some advice.

“I’m still trying to understand tennis on grass so hopefully I’ll also be able to do it one day and maybe Garbine can help me a little bit with that, I’ll ask her,” Swiatek said.

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek

So far in her career, Swiatek has won 19 titles but has yet to win a grass tournament.

After shockingly losing to Alize Cornet in the 2022 Wimbledon third round in her lone grass tournament played that year, Swiatek entered the 2023 grass season determined to at least make some improvements in her grass game. And that happened as Swiatek made the semifinal at a WTA 250 tournament in Bad Homburg before giving Lucia Bronzetti a walkover due to suspected food poisoning. Then at Wimbledon, Swiatek reached her first quarterfinal before losing to Elina Svitolina.

It will be interesting to see if this is the year Swiatek goes even deeper at Wimbledon.

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