Iga Swiatek admits she ‘was at the airport already’ in comeback victory
Iga Swiatek has confessed that she thought her Australian Open tournament was over, but the Pole managed to fightback against former finalist Danielle Collins.
Swiatek was 4-1 down with a double break in the decider, but managed to turn the tide and win five consecutive games to extend her winning streak to 18 matches.
In her post-match interview, the world No.1 joked that she was already thinking about the flight home, “Oh my god, I was at the airport already.
“It wasn’t easy. I felt like I had the momentum going and then she started playing suddenly two times faster and I had no idea how to react to that for a couple of games. But I came back, and I thought the only thing I could focus on was myself. I stopped caring how she’s going to play, I just focused on myself.”
The American had won their previous encounter at the Australian Open in 2022, when she beat Swiatek in straight sets to reach her maiden Grand Slam final.
However, Swiatek made sure that she fought until the final ball on this occasion, “I wanted to fight until the end. I knew she played just perfectly but it would be hard for anybody to keep that level, so I wanted to be ready when more mistakes would come from the other side and I wanted to push then. I did that at the end and I’m really proud of myself. It wasn’t easy.”
The four-time major winner continued, “You’re not going to lie to yourself obviously that you’re losing 4-1. The only thing you can do is just try again. At that point, you kind of know that you may lose. You can actually relax a little bit more because you know that, Okay, probably I’m going to lose, so I don’t care anymore. Then it’s easier. Sometimes it works like that.
“But it doesn’t change the fact that I just kept trying. I kind of accept that I’m not going to only have these motivational and positive thoughts. When I go and start the rally, well, I hope most of the time I have the same kind of intensity..”
It's not over until it's over…
— Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek) January 18, 2024
Swiatek will now progress to the third round of the tournament, where she will play Czech teenager Linda Noskova on Saturday.
However, for Collins it appears that this was the final Australian Open singles match of her career, with the 30-year-old announcing that 2024 will be her last season on the WTA Tour.
Inside the baseline…
It has been a day of shocks at the Australian Open today, but Iga Swiatek managed to cling on after showcasing her incredible fighting spirit against an inspired Danielle Collins. Coming through matches like this could prove to be vital in her bid to win the Australian Open singles title. Collins’ retirement announcement has come as a shock and disappointment to many, with the American often part of some of the most entertaining and dramatic encounters on tour.
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