Swiatek Roland Garros

‘Sometimes it’s harder to deal with success than losing’ – Iga Swiatek on defending French Open title

Iga Swiatek said she does not feel pressure to defend her French Open title because “when you win a Grand Slam everybody will always remember”.

The 19-year-old won last year’s Roland Garros without dropping a set and while ranked world No. 54 – making her the lowest-ranked woman to ever win the title.

The Pole, who is now placed ninth in the WTA rankings, won the Italian Open title in her most recent event – crushing Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in the final.

“When you win a Grand Slam everybody will always remember that you won a Grand Slam,” Swiatek said in an interview with BBC Sport.

“I don’t think of it like I have to defend the trophy and win the French Open because what I did is always going to be with me.

“(Sports psychologist) Daria (Abramowicz) helped me a lot with all the expectations and all the stuff that was bothering me after the French Open because actually, I realised that sometimes it’s harder to deal with success than the times you are losing.

“Sometimes with my own expectations it’s hard but then I have to remind myself that I just have to focus on work and just remember why I play tennis and have fun on court, because sometimes I feel like I’m not playing for myself and that’s not a good thing.

“I just have to find that space where I just calm myself and remind myself that hopefully in two years I’m just going to be constantly in that mood when I just don’t worry and I’m just having fun, because I think that’s what the biggest champions do, they just don’t care and they just play and focus on their job.”

Swiatek will begin her title defence after the 2021 French Open begins on May 30.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.