Iga Swiatek - Australian Open 2023

Iga Swiatek says she ‘felt the pressure’ following Australian Open exit

Iga Swiatek has been knocked out of the Australian Open, in the fourth round, by Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, 6-4 6-4, and made an admission after the match. 

In the Pole’s press conference she declared that the expectation of being No.1 that is put on her by the tennis world, and also herself, weighed heavily upon her shoulders heading into the first major of the year.

“I felt like I took a step back in terms of how I approach these tournaments, and I maybe wanted it a little bit too hard.” the 21-year-old admitted, “So I’m going to try to chill out a little bit more. That’s all.”

The three-time Grand slam champion continued, “For sure, the past two weeks have been pretty hard for me. So I felt today that I don’t have that much to take from myself to fight even more. I felt the pressure, and I felt that I don’t want to lose instead of I want to win.”

However, Swiatek made it clear that she did not want to use this as an excuse and was very complimentary about Rybakina.

“She was just better today, honestly, and she played in a really solid way,” Swiatek said, “Her ranking should be better, but we all know what happened in Wimbledon [when ranking points were not awarded because of the issue around the tournament’s banning of Russian and Belarusian players].

Rybakina used the fact that she was playing a No.1 to her advantage, suggesting that she had ‘nothing to lose’.

She also utilised her powerful serve to full effect, as she did all of the first week with 51% of her first serves going unreturned in Melbourne, higher than any man or woman in the tournament.

The No.25 is continuing to prove a point, after explaining that she did not feel like a Wimbledon champion due to the courts she had been scheduled to play on since her triumph at SW19.

By beating Swiatek, the Kazakhstani advances to her first Australian Open quarter-final, where she will play fellow Grand Slam champion Jelena Ostapenko, which will take place on Rod Laver Arena.

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.