October 8, 2020
I. SWIATEK/N. Podoroska
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What was the mindset in the end after the match point when you looked at your box, you had kind of a shrug? Is it because it seems unreal to you, what you are achieving?
IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, it seems unreal. On one hand I know that I can play great tennis. On the other hand, it's kind of surprising for me. I never would have thought that I'm going to be in the final. It's crazy.
Yeah, I just kept believing in myself. It's amazing for me. It'll like a dream come true. Basically I was a little bit, like, overwhelmed (smiling).
Q. We know you're a big fan of 'Welcome to the Jungle' by Guns N' Roses. You've had an amazing few weeks. Now you are just one win away. Can you tell us, can you believe what has happened over the last two weeks? Can you believe that you are now just one win away from being crowned the queen of the jungle here at Roland Garros?
IGA SWIATEK: Actually it's hard to believe. I think it's going to hit me, like, after the tournament. Right now I'm just living the dream. I just want to focus on the other matches, on doubles. I'm going to enjoy everything after.
Right now I'm still on adrenaline, so yeah, it's hard to believe that. I know winning final, it's going to be a tough match. It's still long way because I'm going to play against more experienced players. They've been in a situation like that.
Again, I'm going to be, like, an underdog, if you could say something about that, to the finalist. Yeah, it's going to be a tough match. Yeah, I'm going to just stay focused.
Q. You said in an interview with Roland Garros last week that you were treating this next two years, now that you were finished with high school, like a gap year. Afterwards, you would reevaluate. If you were winning slams, you'd stay. If not, you'd go to university. Is it safe to say we can count on you being around a little bit longer than you thought a week ago? Are you really treating it this way, that this is a gap year thing for you?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, right now it's going to be hard to make a decision to go back to studying because I feel like really I can achieve big things. I just want to focus on that.
But really I'm only 19, so a lot can change during few years. We going to see. Maybe I'm going to be, like, hungry for knowledge or anything. Really I'm not going to make decision right now.
Right now it would be hard for me to study in this tournament and after. So I'm just going to focus on doing tennis, tennis-related stuff, as good as I can. I'm just going to deal with it later.
But really I think if I'm going to be in a few finals of Grand Slams, it would be, like, impossible to study and playing that kind of tennis consistently. I'm just going to see how the situation develops.
Q. You've been so self-assured this tournament. Do you ever suffer from nerves on a tennis court?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, I'm working with psychologist obviously, as I said in the other interviews. I'm dealing with my nerves pretty good.
I feel like I've been so efficient and so focused for whole matches that I put a lot of pressure on my opponents. I'm not even nervous in second sets because I know it's going to probably go my way.
It's going to be different in a final because I'm going to play much more experienced players. Yeah, I think it's going to be tough match no matter who I'm going to play against.
I will need to be on a different level, the higher level, even though I'm winning easily right now.
Q. About Daria, there are lots of players who have worked with sports psychologists at some point in their career. You did it early on in your career. What let you know this was going to be such an important part of your game and your development to have this mental person who is working and traveling with you, a different level of commitment than we see from most players?
IGA SWIATEK: That's true. I mean, traveling, it was also new for me because when I worked with the other psychologists, they stayed in Warsaw. Basically that's how Daria works. That's her style of working. I'm really happy that she chose me to travel with because she has, like, many other players.
She was also traveling with them, like with sailors or cyclists. So right now she's focusing to me, and I'm really happy because she's doing a great job.
Actually, I don't know how I made the decision when I was younger, but I always wanted to work with a psychologist because I had this belief that it's like a big part of the game.
But my parents, like, they weren't as open to that as I was. Actually, I don't know where that came from, to be honest (smiling).
Q. You said on court that you tried to think about this match as a first round. Surely it didn't escape you this was a semifinal and you were a heavy favorite. How did you distract yourself from the fact that you are a lot better ranked than your opponent and you were going into this with a big chance to get into the final? Did you do anything special to distract your mind?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, nothing special actually because the things that I've done before were working. I just kept doing the same stuff. I was focusing on my technique and on my legs. I know when I get stressed, I usually feel that in my legs because they are feeling really heavy.
It's easy to say that you're not going to think that you're playing semifinal, but it is somewhere in the back of your head. The thing is you don't have to focus on that thoughts, you just have to let it go and focus on the things that are really making a difference, like technique or tactics.
Yeah, it's also a thing that I was talking with Daria about. Basically I learned that from her, so yeah.
Q. You have not had a close match yet here. Do you think that matters on Saturday? If you were in a tighter match, that that could be difficult?
IGA SWIATEK: Usually I'm that kind of player who is playing better under pressure. If I'm not going to choke up, I think everything will be fine.
But, well, there's a reason why I was so efficient. Really I'm staying super focused. I'm, like, not letting my opponents to play their best tennis. So I hope I'm going to do that on Saturday.
It's going to be pretty tough. I know they're both great players, so really I have no expectations. I don't care if I'm going to lose or win. I'm going to just play my best tennis. The final is also a great result, so really I have no pressure.
Q. If you could go back to the match point, when it was finally done, are you able to put into words what that actually felt like, when that match point was finished?
IGA SWIATEK: It was, like, kind of relief because usually, even though I was leading the whole match, it is stressful for me. I was really happy that I just won. I was just full of excitement.
Really I even was throwing balls to the audience, and I shouldn't do that. I realized that after. But I was really happy. I just enjoyed the moment.
Q. You play with racquets that weigh less than 300 grams. How do you hit the ball so hard and control it at the same time? Have you tried other models?
IGA SWIATEK: If I have tried other what?
Q. Other models of racquets.
IGA SWIATEK: Well, basically I was playing with Prince for a long time now. I didn't have time to change it or to test other racquets. When I was younger, it was hard for me to decide.
But I'm playing with other contract. At some point I'll have to change that, for sure. But from a business side, I always loved the racquet, so I kept playing with it. Actually, I don't know if it's lighter than racquets of other players. I have good hand, I'm strong. If my hand is going to be loosened up, I know I can hit some heavy balls.
Yeah, I guess I'm just used to the racquet that I'm playing right now. But I think we're going to test some more during this pre-season. I'm going to need to deal with some stuff that I haven't dealt before. It's going to be also pretty hard for me because I think I'm playing with this racquet for, like, five years right now.
Yeah, we're going to think about it. Maybe I'm going to develop my game even more because of that.
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