Iga Swiatek - Indian Wells 2024

Iga Swiatek ‘proud’ to achieve impressive world No.1 statistic

Iga Swiatek has spoken about her progression as world No.1, with the Pole looking forward to ‘transitioning’ to the clay court season.

Swiatek first became No.1 back in April 2022, after Ash Barty announced her retirement from the sport.

The 22-year-old has remained at the top for nearly the entire time since then, with Aryna Sabalenka dethroning Swiatek for only eight weeks after the US Open last year.

As a result of spending 99 weeks at the top of the WTA rankings, Swiatek is at ninth in the all-time list, something that the three-time Roland Garros winner claims she could not have envisioned a couple years back.

“Honestly, yeah, this is one of these stats actually,” said Swiatek. “I think overall, that I’m in the top 10 of all time in terms of weeks at No.1, I wouldn’t expect that ever a couple of years back.

Swiatek continued, “I’m proud of my progress and everything in terms of how I’ve handled all the different challenges during my career. Belonging to the top 10 of players in terms of weeks at No.1 is pretty cool.

“I’ve learnt to deal with expectations, especially with outside pressure. I concentrate on setting my own goals and not to let myself be influenced by outside expectations.”

No. Player Weeks as No.1
1. Steffi Graf 377
2. Martina Navratilova 332
3. Serena Williams 319
4. Chris Evert 260
5.  Martina Hingis 209
6. Monica Seles 178
7. Ashleigh Barty 121
8. Justine Henin 117
9. Iga Swiatek 99*
10. Lindsay Davenport 98

After helping Poland qualify for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals last week, Swiatek is now turning her attention to the clay courts where she has found much of her success in recent years.

This will begin at the WTA 500 indoor tournament in Stuttgart, where Swiatek is a two-time defending champion.

And the four-time major winner has spoken about how she finds the transition from hard courts to clay, “I felt today that I can do the transition pretty quickly.

“I’m not expecting that I’m going to feel comfortable from my first match because you always need some matches to just gain confidence on any surface, even if you feel comfortable on it.”

She added, “Stuttgart is an ideal start to the clay court season. The pace of the surface here is between hard courts and normal clay which helps me to transition. Though I had my first practice on clay today, I feel ready especially as I have good memories in my mind of how I played here last year.”

Swiatek will play her first match in Stuttgart tomorrow against Elise Mertens, in a first-time meeting between the pair.

Inside the baseline…

Iga Swiatek is undoubtedly the favourite to win every clay court tournament she enters, having won Roland Garros three out of the past four years. The Pole does tend to carry that weight of expectation generally quite well, which is why she has spent nearly 100 weeks at the top of the WTA rankings and does not look like stopping anytime soon.

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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.