May 20, 2022
THE MODERATOR: You have won a few tournaments in a row now. How does it feel to come into Paris?
IGA SWIATEK: I'm really excited, for sure. I love being here, whole atmosphere on court, maybe not today because it's raining, but it's great.
Yeah, I already played some practices and was able to get into the rhythm so I'm pretty happy to be here.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.
Q. Coming in on such a hot streak, clearly the tennis is where you want it to be, but is it a challenge for you mentally to kind of adjust to this new situation? If so, how are you preparing?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, for now it's been okay, but truth be told, I haven't played a Grand Slam since the streak started.
So I guess we're gonna see if everything I have been doing before is going to be enough. But I have really positive thoughts. Honestly, a couple of times during all these tournaments I was already stressed about that, and I was able to work through it and do a really good job by just focusing on tennis. So hopefully I'm going to be able to continue that.
But still, I have few more days till my first match, so I guess we'll see.
Q. Being No. 1 seems to suit you. You don't seem to be feeling too much pressure, at least to all of us watching you. Had you thought much about what it would be like to be World No. 1 before you got to the top of the rankings and does it feel as you expected it would?
IGA SWIATEK: Honestly, I wasn't thinking about that, but that's a good question, because usually when I was climbing up the rankings, I didn't even know at what stage I was, honestly. I was just going forward, and I didn't really care if I'm 50 or 100, you know.
For sure it mattered when I was entering the tournaments, but for me it was just a number, so I didn't really care. Right now it's a little bit different, because I feel like with my new ranking, people around are treating me a little bit differently.
So the world has changed, for sure (smiling). But I feel like I'm staying the same player and the same person. Still I feel like there is a lot to improve, so I think these are the main keys that this is, you know, my base that I'm leaning on.
Q. Have you planned any kind of tricks to keep your mind maybe off tennis during this tournament up to your first round and hopefully after, you have some activities you know you are going to do just not to think about the matches?
IGA SWIATEK: Actually, this year I feel like it's been easier for me not to think about matches, because also, there are many things we can do like go sightseeing, even go on a walk. Last year with the bubbles it was pretty hard, and it was kind of normal that we are all thinking about tennis because that was the only thing that we did, basically.
Yeah, this year I feel like I found more distance to it. And, well, I'm reading a lot, as usual, so nothing special. Watching TV show. And, well, yeah, today, for example, it's going to be my day off so for sure I'm going to go sightseeing if the weather is going to get better.
I mean, when I had my practice days, I was hoping it's going to rain, so I'm going to have more days off, but it's raining when I have day off, so as usual (smiling).
Q. Obviously the tennis world was very shocked when Ash Barty announced her retirement. The way you have sort of filled that vacuum at the top of this sport is extraordinary really. Can you remember exactly how you felt both sort of at the time that Ash announced her retirement and whether there was sort of a shift in the days off that maybe led to this vacuum filling that you have done?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, for sure at the beginning I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed and a little bit maybe scared of what's going to happen.
Also, I was feeling pretty sad, because I wasn't expecting that Ash is going to retire. I thought that she has the best things out there. So it was just a shame for me that we are not going to be able to play against each other.
Also, because having a thought that maybe some day I'm going to be able to play the same kind of tennis. I mean, to play at the same level and maybe really compete against Ash and maybe win some matches against her, it was really motivating me.
So at first, it was a mix of that, but then I thought that I still have like I think one match to win in Miami Open to confirm that I'm going to be World No. 1. So just focus on tennis and on a good start of the tournament, because when I kind of shifted from focusing on all of that and all the media fuss and I started focusing on tennis, it got much, much easier and I was in a comfortable zone, you know.
Q. What are you reading now? Secondly, how would you sort of define what success would be for you at this tournament?
IGA SWIATEK: So I'm reading "21 Lessons for the 21st Century" and do I have your approval? (Smiling).
It's hard to say, because I don't have any like goals set that, I don't know, reaching semifinal or a final. I'm just honestly going to take it match by match. I'm aware that this streak is something that may be coming to an end soon, so I don't want to be like, you know, heartbroken when it's going to happen. I think being aware of that is pretty healthy.
So I'm just going to again take it match by match, as I did on previous tournaments, and we'll see, honestly. I don't mind, because I already have so much points and I'm pretty happy with the last tournaments that I think this season is already a success for me (smiling).
Q. Maybe it's a little bit too early to talk about this subject, but Amelie Mauresmo became tournament director this year, which is quite unique because she's quite young and former No. 1 player and female. So do you feel like do you have any hunch that it's going to be different what she's going to bring something new in this tournament? And the tiramisu in Rome?
IGA SWIATEK: The tiramisu was perfect. I ate all of it, so hopefully it's not going to have some influence on my shape for this tournament.
I don't really know in terms of the bodies that are organizing the tournament, like what people have what influence on. So honestly, I'm not an expert at it. I was never really interested in that, so maybe I should be from now if you ask these questions.
But, yeah, I don't really know, but I think it's great that we have somebody who was a player and who knows how it is on tour and what's the best for us and what's the most comfortable thing.
Honestly, I'm not sure how to answer that, because I never really was interested in like the bodies that are organizing the tournaments.
Q. At this point it's easy to forget that you made the semifinals at the Australian Open, the last slam, but I'm curious if you put your mind back to that run and what you can take from that major, last major, into this major? Is it just a completely different chapter, or are there lessons that you continue to take from what you did there?
IGA SWIATEK: It is a completely different chapter, because then I was just focus on improving my game on hard court, and semifinal was a great achievement for me and pretty solid, I showed pretty solid game.
But also, it shows that, you know, at the beginning of the season, semifinal was a great success. So still, it's nice to remember what kind of goals I had at the beginning. So I'm not going to, you know, right now really be crazy and say that I'm only going to be happy if I win, because that's not true.
Honestly, semifinal of a Grand Slam, it's a great result because you're in the top four, and, yeah, it's easy to forget about that, but it's nice that I have, you know, things that are going to remind me of that.
Q. Kind of a similar question in that obviously you have won this tournament before and your set scores that week are similar to what you have been having recently. Just wondering sort of how much confidence you take from having won this specific tournament before coming in, trying to win it again, or were the conditions so different in September/October that it felt really different?
IGA SWIATEK: They were different, for sure. It was faster, because it was more, like the clay was more wet. Balls were pretty heavy. So it was different, for sure. It's pretty hard to take experience from that.
But for sure I'm taking the experience of like from the whole process, and, you know, playing seven matches in two weeks, having, you know, the routines. And also like getting to know how it is to go like higher and higher in a Grand Slam, these kind of experiences help me not only for other Grand Slams but for like many tournaments.
So Roland Garros for sure was a breakthrough for me, and I would say like most of the experiences that I had in this tournament were really useful later. Yeah.
Q. How would you characterize your mood or your mindset now maybe compared to the last couple of years here at Roland Garros? Would you say you're more relaxed, less relaxed? Are you a little bit nervous?
IGA SWIATEK: I'm more relaxed. I don't know about being nervous, because usually it comes closer to the match, so we will see. I'm going to keep you updated.
But I'm more relaxed, because, yeah, as I was saying, I have so much points and I feel like my position in WTA is already like, you know, I have worked for it. And it's already kind of maybe I proved to myself and to other people that I can be in the top of the game, and before I wasn't feeling that much confidence, so this year I feel much more peace.
Q. You said that people treat you differently in a way, now that you are No. 1. In what way? What comes to mind? Do you like it? Is there anything you don't like about it?
IGA SWIATEK: I like it. Sometimes for sure all the new obligations I have are pretty tiring, but I have to remember to, you know, have balance in everything. But, no, I like it. But it's kind of hard to describe, because it's like, I don't know, you can feel that in the air. But honestly, it's not like something that I can really, I don't have examples, but it is there. Sorry.
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