October 10, 2020
I. SWIATEK/S. Kenin
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Not very many people ever get to be the first in their country to achieve something. What does it mean to you to be the first Grand Slam winner from Poland?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, I'm just proud of myself. I've done a great job past two weeks. I wasn't expecting to win this trophy. It's obviously amazing for me. It's, like, life-changing experience.
Yeah, I just feel like I kind of made history. But I still think that Radwanska, she achieved, like, a lot because she played on the top level of WTA for, I don't know, 12 years. I don't even know the number.
I know there's going to be a lot of people who is going to compare us. But I think I have to be really consistent for the next couple years to everybody to name me like the best player in Poland because still I have a lot to do. Still I think that's kind of her place, you know.
Q. You said you were stressed today, but we barely saw it. I'm wondering, how do you hide the stress?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, everybody is stressed when they're playing Grand Slam finals. I just knew that Sofia may also be stressed, that she's not a machine. I was aware that we can both, like, struggle, and we're probably not going to play our best tennis because it's hard with so much pressure.
But I just did everything I've done in the previous rounds. I focused on technique and tactics. I tried to get rid of expectations, you know, just play one ball after another. I didn't really care if I'm going to lose or win, as I said, like yesterday.
So really, I think the main key was just keeping my expectations low.
Q. Have you spoken in the past to Naomi Osaka or will do in future about just living with your new fame? I'm sure life is going to change quite significantly for you after your achievement today.
IGA SWIATEK: That's true. I mean, it's hard to comment on that right now because I need to come back home first, see what's going on in Poland. I know it's going to be crazy.
I think I'm going to, like, get used to that, it's not going to be a problem for me. I didn't have problem with, like, getting attention, with people surrounding me. I think it's going to be okay for me.
I really appreciate all the support I got during whole two weeks. Even though I wasn't on my phone and I wasn't answering, like, every person, I know that the whole country was behind me and they all believed in me. I'm going to be happy and, like, proud.
Q. You said you did feel some pressure. Do you think there was less pressure because there weren't so many people in the stadium?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, whole tournament is different, you know. I don't know how would I react if the stadium was full or if the whole site was packed with audience.
But, yeah, it's hard to say. I think another Grand Slam, if I'm going to have a result like that, or if I'm going to play semifinals or final, I'm going to see how that is. It's also going to be new experience for me because this Grand Slam was special. Yeah, it's just different than others.
Also I think from my experience, like, playing U.S. swing without audience and playing with higher expectations because I knew that many top players aren't playing because of COVID, it wasn't that good for me also, so I had to work through it. I just got used to not playing with audience.
I think I would handle it if there was an audience, because usually I get more adrenaline and it's pumping me up, I'm not too stressed about it. I think it would be the same. I don't know because I've never been in a situation like that.
Q. You focused a lot on the sports psychology side. What was the message from Daria? What was the last thing she told you today before you went on court?
IGA SWIATEK: She just told me to do the same basically. Yeah, she just told me to keep my routines, that I've made a great job the past two weeks. It doesn't really matter if I'm going to lose or win, just do a good performance.
Q. After the semifinal, as you looked ahead to the final, a comment you made was, I don't care if I win or lose. Surely you didn't mean that?
IGA SWIATEK: Actually it was so crazy for me winning against Simona that I already thought about the tournament as, like, my lifetime achievement. Really, I had no expectations.
I knew it's going to be tough in the final. I didn't want to stress a lot about it, so I just told myself that I don't care and I tried to believe in that.
I think at the end I really just enjoyed the moment. It's not that I don't care if I'm going to win or lose, I'm just not thinking about it all the time. I'm focusing on the things I do right now because winning is just an effect of my work that I'm doing every minute.
Q. Afterwards in your speech you were very composed until you started talking about your father. You got a little emotional. Why?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, I know my speech wasn't perfect. I basically didn't know what to say. I think, like, I had a mess in my head really. It's hard to say.
But, yeah, like, I used to talk about my dad in Polish, and it would be a lot easier for me. But he done, like, so much work to help me and my sister to do the things we love. He basically, like, gave really everything that it's hard to describe what I feel about it.
I'm just thankful for the support that he gave me.
Q. I'm old enough to have seen Steffi Graf winning when she was 13 years old in Roland Garros on Court 3, which is not existing any more. At that time we all saw she had great potential, fantastic forehand. You don't seem to have any weakness. She had a backhand which wasn't that great at that moment. You have a fantastic backhand down the line, a great forehand, you played two or three dropshots unbelievable, at the net you're great. I'm asking you, where do you see yourself capable to make progress? Even if I understand that you have a sponsor, I would love to see your eyes because they are covered by your hat.
IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, I know. Sorry about that. But I'm used to wearing hats. I feel more comfortable in my hat right now.
But really I feel like I can do progress in, like, most of the things because I'm only 19. I know my game isn't developed perfectly. Also I think the biggest change for me is going to be to be consistent. I think this is what women's tennis is struggling with. That's why we have so many new Grand Slam winners because we are not, like, as consistent as Rafa, Roger, and Novak. That's why my goal is going to be to be consistent. It's going to be really hard to achieve that.
Right now I'm just going to, you know, enjoy the moment. I'm going to think about my future goals later.
Q. If you've checked your phone, I'm pretty sure a lot of people have messaged you. I wanted to know, is there a message, aside from the ones you may have received from your family and relatives, a message that particularly sticks out, that is nicer than the others?
IGA SWIATEK: Actually it's hard to say because I haven't read, like, all of them. But really I didn't have time, so I'm not going to answer that properly.
But I only have seen messages from my, like, closest friends and my family. The most important people are here with me, so I was talking basically to them the whole time after the match.
Q. A lot of the players you've played this tournament have talked about how different your game is, how different your spinny forehand is. Do you feel like what you're doing out there is very different from what the rest of the women on tour are doing? Do you feel you're a very unique player out there?
IGA SWIATEK: You know, it's hard to say from my perspective because usually if I would be able to play against myself I would tell you. But, yeah, I know that my topspin forehand can be dangerous. Yeah, I don't know actually where that came from because I always played like huge topspin and I love to spin the ball.
Really, I mean, I just have my instincts. I think this is helping me a lot. It's hard for me to say if my game is really that different than others.
Q. What is it like to be part of this sort of new wave of younger Grand Slam champions? What do you think about that moving forward? I'm also wondering how, if at all, maybe it affected you to see some of these younger champions winning in recent times?
IGA SWIATEK: For sure it's, like, inspiring. I know that there are no limits. Even though you're really young and you're an underdog, you can do a lot in a sport like tennis.
Well, on one hand it's pretty inspiring. Sometimes I caught myself visualizing that I'm also winning a Grand Slam. But on the other hand it was also, like, really far away. Right now when I'm here and I'm a Grand Slam champion, it's crazy (smiling).
You believe in things, but in the back of your head you know that there's going to be, like, huge amount of work that you have to do to win that. Then after two weeks of great playing, you already have it. It's just - I don't know - overwhelming.
I think I'm going to need some more time to comment on that because I need some, like, perspective from, I don't know, the distance.
Q. Tennis is a mental game. You've spoken on the role of psychology. Bianca Andreescu used visualization, meditation. Can you go a little deeper? Do you use visualization and meditation off court and on? Talk about the role of psychology as a weapon.
IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, I mean, I use visualization. I meditate, especially during breaks during match. But I don't know what Bianca meant because many people are meditating before sleep or something. I also try to do that, but I'm not as consistent as I could be. Basically one day I'm doing it, another day I forgot. I wish I could be more consistent about it.
But I use everything that my psychologist teached me during a match. For sure I'm doing the biggest work on the court. Sometimes she's laughing that she could be so happy if I could do like 30% of the work I do on the match on practice, but I think I still have to go up to do that a little bit (smiling).
Well, basically you ask what is the role of sports psychology in the performance. I mean, I think there is a huge role. I can see the difference when I'm mentally, like, prepared and I'm ready to handle the stress, the pressure. I can see the difference where I can't. That's why I'm sometimes losing in first round and sometimes I can win a tournament.
Yeah, my next goal is going to be more consistent and use the skills I have, like, every time because it's also tiring for your mind.
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