Iga Swiatek targeting Olympic success on ‘favourite surface’
Iga Swiatek has revealed her goals for the Paris Olympic Games, as well as reflecting on how she has learnt to deal with the expectation of being world No.1.
Swiatek temporarily lost her status at the top of the rankings to Aryna Sabalenka, but returned to No.1 after winning the WTA Finals in Cancun.
The Pole is now preparing to begin her second season as world No.1 and has spoken about her recent change in mindset, “Playing these final matches in Cancun with such baggage on my shoulders in terms of rankings, it gave me a lot of confidence. I learned a lot about myself. I’m going to take it in 2024.
“Honestly, I’m looking ahead for these tournaments that are going to happen here in Australia for me. I want to take it step by step. I feel more prepared for sure to deal with the pressure of being world No.1 this year than last year.”
As well as the standard WTA schedule, there is also the added element of the Olympic Games in 2024 and Swiatek has bigged up her chances after disappointment in Tokyo.
“For sure the pressure was huge, I mean, you could see after I lost against Paula [Badosa], I cried, it was a big fuss,” said Swiatek when talking about her debut Games.
She continued, “This time it’s going to be a little bit different. I’m going to know the venue. It’s going to be on my favourite surface. On the other hand, these also bring up more expectations from the outside.
“I guess I’ll have to do the same kind of work as I do in every other tournament. I’m not going to lie to myself that it’s going to be easy or the same because it will be different, a little bit.”
One year ago today, @iga_swiatek was crying uncontrollably after losing to Paula Badosa at the Olympics. Since then:
? Qatar Open
? Indian Wells
? Miami Open
? Stuttgart Open
? Italian Open
? French Open
? World #1
? 37-match winning streak pic.twitter.com/SegjBZjdGq
— Eurosport (@eurosport) July 26, 2022
The tennis tournament at the Paris Olympics are being held on the grounds of Roland Garros, where Swiatek has won three of her four Grand Slam titles.
However, before Swiatek can even think about the Olympics she will need to focus on representing Poland at the United Cup, with her first match of the season against Beatriz Haddad Maia on Saturday 30th December.
Inside the baseline…
Iga Swiatek finished the 2023 season in incredible form, and will be hoping to bring this into next year as world No.1 once again. Swiatek will no doubt be the huge favourite for gold heading into the Olympics later in the year, as she has been dominant on the clay since winning her first Roland Garros title in 2020. This could be even more prevalent if the Pole manages to retain the Roland Garros title once again in June.
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