Iga Swiatek - US Open 2022

Iga Swiatek feeling ‘more confident’ heading into US Open hardcourt swing this year

Iga Swiatek has spoken about how winning her home title in Warsaw has made her feel more ‘confident’ heading into the North American hardcourt swing, as she explains her bizarre practice session which saw her playing with a piece of tape across her mouth.

Swiatek is coming off the back of winning her first WTA 250 title in the Polish capital, and is now in Toronto looking to improve her record in Canada.

The No.1 has never surpassed the third round of the Canadian Open and appears to be going to extreme measures to change that, after she was spotted practicing with a piece of tape across her mouth.

The exercise was devised by Swiatek’s fitness coach, Maciej Ryszczuk, and aims to restrict her oxygen intake to improve endurance.

Swiatek spoke to press about this exercise, “It’s harder to breathe when you’re only breathing with your nose, and it’s easier for my heart rate to go up.”

She continued, “I’m not going to explain it to you perfectly because I’m not an expert. Sometimes I don’t get the things they tell me to do, but I’m doing that for a long time now so it got pretty easy.

“But for sure you can see the difference in how everything you do on the court is getting more and more hard with that tape on your mouth. So I guess it’s the way to kind of work on my endurance by not having me run so fast and do extreme things.”

The Warsaw Open was played on hardcourts this year, whereas last year it was on clay, and Swiatek explained why this has helped her preparation for her US Open title defence.

“I remember for sure I had some technical struggles that I focused more in terms of where I wanted to improve, but I was kind of stuck with a few shots that I didn’t like. This year I don’t have that. I feel more confident,” claimed Swiatek.

“I think playing Warsaw on hard court changed a lot the perspective because last year, switching from grass to clay and then to hard court was really tricky.

The 22-year-added, “This year, I feel like it’s a really nice process without any extra obstacles. So it was pretty easy for me to just focus on work. I think it’s great before the whole swing and before the US Open.”

Swiatek will begin her campaign in Toronto against former No.1 Karolina Pliskova, who she has beaten in both of their two previous meetings.

Iga Swiatek US Open hardcourt swing in 2022

As Swiatek admits her improved confidence this year, we at Tennishead wanted to look back at her lead-up to winning her first hardcourt major in New York last year:

Canadian Open – Lost in the third round to Beatriz Haddad Maia, 4-6 6-3 5-7

Cincinnati Masters – Lost in the third round to Madison Keys, 3-6 4-6

US Open – Beat Ons Jabeur, 6-2 7-6(5), to win the title

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.