May 11, 2022
I. SWIATEK/E. Ruse
THE MODERATOR: Iga, your first match back as defending champion, how did you feel out there?
IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, I mean, I'm pretty proud I could get into the rhythm today, just take some lessons during the match and improve my game, game by game.
Yeah, that was pretty solid match for me.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What do you think about Gabriela's performance and her process to go for the first time in top 50? You've been through this whole process.
IGA SWIATEK: Well, for sure. But for me honestly it happened pretty quickly. At that time I wasn't even, like, looking at rankings. I was pretty young. I felt like I'm going forward and forward. There was not some point, like a stop for me.
The transition from, like, lower-ranked players to higher-ranked, it was pretty smooth for me. I don't know if I'm, like, the right example to ask about the whole process.
But honestly I think she's playing really solid tennis. I could feel that today on my racquet, that she could really give back some strong hits.
Yeah, I mean, honestly, I don't have much experience with her game because I think we played once on some exhibition match right after pandemic started. I wasn't really following, like, all the steps that she did.
It's pretty cool that she's going forward.
Q. Talking about the process, you said the other day with Tomasz now you are starting to work on technique. Did you already do something on the forehand, opening a bit less, it's good because your arm is not super fast so you could hit better?
IGA SWIATEK: The question is mainly about my forehand?
Q. About the technique, what you're going to improve with Tomasz.
IGA SWIATEK: Honestly I feel like the most important stuff that my coach is giving me is the experience and how to adjust proper to different kinds of surfaces. We're kind of changing my technique to have the best feeling on hard court or on clay court. We're mainly focusing on that.
But for sure there are some things that we want to improve in, like, the whole process. Doesn't matter what surface it would be.
But mainly I think we were working since the beginning of the season on my serve. You could see even from the stats that last year I was struggling little bit on my first serve.
Well, I'm still 20, so I feel like there's many things to improve. I mean, not only forehand, but everything honestly.
I know that he has a plan for me also, like, going forward. Finishing points at the net would be nice, too, to learn in future years. Yeah, we are working a lot with my technique.
Q. I saw yesterday you had a little chat in between practice with Novak. What did he tell you? If there's something from men's tennis that you like to pick up and apply to your game?
IGA SWIATEK: I feel like the big three have shown so much consistency, that this is the kind of thing I would like to have. I know it's little bit different in women's tennis. For sure they're, like, really good role models.
Novak, honestly, just congratulated me. It was right after practice so I didn't want to bother him.
Yeah, I think from the technique or physicality, it's pretty hard to take something because it's obvious that we are not as strong as men in terms of physicality.
But I always said that I wanted to play topspin because I watched Rafa on TV playing topspin. At one point you can be inspired by technique or some stuff.
I would say the consistency is the thing that I'm looking up to mostly.
Q. Next you've got Victoria Azarenka. You have played before. She's been very complimentary of your game. What do you think the challenge will be there specifically on clay?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, that question I'm not ready for right now because I was actually talking with my coach, what's the difference between her game on hard court and clay. For sure we're going to analyze that. Tactically I'm going to be prepared.
I've never even had a chance to play a practice with her on clay, so I'm not sure how the game is going to look like.
But honestly I've been repeating myself, just focusing on my things that I want to improve but also on my strength. I think it's going to give me a lot of confidence in any match, so I'm going to keep doing that.
For sure tactically we need to prepare today because she's such an experienced player that you have to be ready for many, like, variety. You have to be ready for facing a lot of variety in her game.
Q. You mentioned in pretournament press, but the adjustments of having made all the improvements on your hard court game, transitioning onto clay. In the work you were doing in Mallorca and the match today, where do you see the biggest adjustments you have had to make, mental or tactical?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, basically I was playing much more aggressively on hard courts. This time I needed to not, like, force myself to go more and more aggressively as I did on hard court, but more going back a little bit and playing more topspin, like touching the ball with the racquet from behind, not from the top. I think every player has to do that if they want to transition well on clay.
But honestly, for me, it was all about the mentality because every year I felt like when I start playing on clay, it was like, Wow, it's clay again, I'm so happy, finally I'm going to be able to win some matches.
This year when I improved my game on hard court so well, the difference is a little bit smaller. I needed to still get pumped up by other things, get motivation from other stuff.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports