Iga Swiatek cried and was ‘scared and confused’ by Ash Barty retirement
Iga Swiatek is worried about becoming world number one far sooner than she expected after Ash Barty shocked the tennis world by announcing her retirement from professional tennis.
The 20-year-old Pole became world number two for the first time this week following her Indian Wells triumph.
Swiatek was looking forward to battling Barty for the top spot in the future, a vision that has obviously drastically changed in recent days.
Swiatek said: “It would be really nice also to be able to compete against her for the next few years and actually try to play better and better, to be able to beat her slice.
“We’re going to miss her, for sure.”
Barty and Swiatek faced off just twice on the WTA tour, in Madrid last year and Adelaide this year, with Barty winning on both occasions.
Swiatek added how she personally reacted to the news.
“You already know that I like to cry, so I was crying for a long time,” she said.
“I mean, there was lot of confusion in me, for sure.
“But also sadness because when I think of the player that is really complete in terms of physicality, mentality, tennis-wise, I always thought of Ash [Barty] and I always looked up to her.
“I mean, I still do.”
On the prospect of becoming world number one after Miami as Barty confirmed she will drop from the rankings after the event, Swiatek continued:
“I was already scared.
“They said it may be possible that I’m going to be world number one.
“We realised there’s no sense to actually think about that right now because we have such a short time to prepare for another tournament.
“We’ve got to stay focused on our work.”
The only way Swiatek will not be number one after Miami is if she loses in her first match there to Viktorija Golubic and then Paula Badosa wins the tournament.
In other words, if Swiatek defeats Golubic she is guaranteed to be world number one after the WTA 1000 event.
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