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September 10, 2022

Iga Swiatek

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference

I. SWIATEK/O. Jabeur

6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Champ, congratulations.

IGA SWIATEK: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: For the final time, straight sets, very tight hour and 50 minutes on the court. Your thoughts on your performance.

IGA SWIATEK: Well, it's hard to describe it in one sentence. But I'm just super proud of myself because it wasn't easy match, even though at the beginning I was dominating, I knew it's going to be tight and I knew that Ons is going to use any mistake that I'm going to make. I didn't want to back out.

In second set it got really physical action and I'm happy that I got my level of energy up little bit more so I could finish and be really precise in those moments where I needed that. Yeah, we played on a really good level today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We talk a lot about the fact it was important for you to win a slam that wasn't on clay. What does it mean to you to do that? Do you think it is important for your legacy or career?

IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, for sure it is. At the beginning of the season I realized that maybe I can have some good results on WTA events. I also made it to semifinal of Australian Open.

But I wasn't sure if I was on the level yet to win actually a Grand Slam, especially on US Open where the surface is so fast.

It's something that I wasn't expecting for sure. It's also like a confirmation for me that sky is the limit. I'm proud, also surprised little bit, just happy that I was able to do that.

Q. It feels quite different to your French Open wins. There you obviously were super confident, playing well, not too many battles. Here you've had to fight. Does that in some ways make it more satisfying?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, it's hard to compare. For sure Roland Garros I always feel like I have more control and I feel like Philippe Chatrier is kind of my place. Here on Ashe, I still need to figure out the atmosphere. I wasn't sure before the match if this is actually my place.

I was pretty focused and I didn't let myself, like, get into these thoughts. For sure, I don't know if it's more than the second win on Roland Garros because I feel like back then the pressure was really on and everybody was kind of expecting me to win.

Here I managed to go ahead my expectations lower, and also I feel like people were not expecting a lot from me on hard court. So mentally I think Roland Garros was little bit tougher. But tennis-wise and physically here for sure it was tougher.

Q. You used the word 'proud' and the phrase 'the sky is the limit'. What, of everything you've already accomplished in your career at 21, what are you proudest of and what are you most excited about for what the future might hold for you?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, wow. I'm mostly proud of the fact that mentally I'm not kind of breaking up in those important moments. I have, like, after the matches, even if I lose, I kind of have no regrets because I know I'm doing 100%.

I'm proud that I have much more solutions and options on court than I had before tennis-wise, but yeah, also mentally. I'm using these skills pretty well. I'm really proud of that because I just know how it feels to not have ideas on court, not have anything you can change to make the match better.

Right now it's been a long time since I didn't have any idea. So that's great. It shows that I'm actually doing progress.

What was the other part of the question?

Q. What are you most excited about about what the future might hold?

IGA SWIATEK: I don't know. For now I got to settle with what's happening right now. I'm going to see how I'm going to react. Because also winning US Open is different than winning a slam in Europe or in Australia because I don't know how the popularity thing is going to change, if it's going to change.

For now I'm kind of going to observe and learn. For the future, I know I still have a lot to improve on court. That's something that I'm excited for because maybe it's just going to get easier to play these matches.

Q. What did it feel like when you were lying on the court when the match finished? Do you like the tennis balls any better now?

IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, it's a tricky one (smiling).

I don't know honestly. I feel like I can adjust to anything. Right now I feel that. For sure I needed more time. That's why Toronto and Cincinnati didn't work probably.

But when I was lying after the last point, I was kind of relieved that we didn't go to a third set because physically, with that stress and everything, I know that I also played some more intense matches, but still final, it's a different feeling. For the body it's also hard. I was relieved it ended in second set.

So many emotions that you kind of have to lay down. I'm happy that I didn't start crying that badly so I can look okay right now. Not perfectly, but...

Q. You said on TV you're going to see a musical tomorrow. What will that one be? What are the distractions you spoke about in New York the last two weeks?

IGA SWIATEK: The other part of the question?

Q. The distractions, you mentioned on-court distractions in New York.

IGA SWIATEK: I wouldn't say actually right now it was distracting, but I met so many great people here, like Lindsay Vaughn. Right now I can't remember the rest. Oh, yeah, Seal. I mean, actually after I met Seal, I was like, Even if I'm gonna lose right now I already won this tournament, because I got photo with him.

Yeah, it was great. It's something that it's only going to happen probably in New York. Yeah, because it's New York.

I'm not going to say the name of the musical because I want to have a little peace tomorrow.

Q. Is the whole team going as well?

IGA SWIATEK: Actually part of the team is already on a plane so... We have busy schedules.

Q. The first-set stats were amazing. You hit 90% first serves in and 100% of your returns in. What do you attribute that to? How were you able to have that start? How do you rate the start that you had?

IGA SWIATEK: I rate it really, really well. I think that's the only match here where I started that well. I had that at the beginning of the season, I think, during that streak. I had many matches where I started well. It kind of disappeared a little bit in the second part of the season.

It gave me a lot of confidence, for sure. I felt it especially on the final on French Open, that if you're going to start well, then it's much easier to just continue and to not feel that kind of pressure during the final.

But I feel like I used the experiences of the other two finals pretty well. So I wasn't that tight. I feel like I was more tight with Coco in Paris.

Q. You said before you needed time from Cincinnati, Toronto, where maybe you were struggling, talking about the balls a little bit. My question is, what happened over the course of the time that got you to where you were today?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, for sure the weather changed 'cause it wasn't that hot in second part of the tournament. It was helpful. But I don't have any influence on that, so...

Yeah, like at the beginning of this swing I had to really force myself to make some technical adjustment. Sometimes we have many things actually to think about on court. Sometimes I wasn't able to do it every time, so I was making a lot of mistakes.

Then I finally accepted that I'm going to make those mistakes. It's not going to be like on slow surface where I can, I don't know, build a rally, then be really calm and just finish. It's going to be more risk and less control, for sure. So I accepted that.

I also didn't need to think about this technical stuff at the end because I did it for already four weeks, so it kind of got little bit more natural and I used more intuition. That was the thing that actually let me to be more free, yeah.

Q. You have an incredible record in finals. There's a 16 here, "Pressure is a Privilege." Could you talk about the process of competition, your feelings at the time? Is it just a grind? An opportunity to grow? Is there joy in that process?

IGA SWIATEK: I wouldn't say that there is a lot of joy. I was actually was thinking about that yesterday, that kind of enjoy, I don't know, the day before the final because I don't enjoy it at all.

I feel like you really have to like adrenaline, you really have to be excited for the whole experience to feel that. But I'm more of a person that is going to have, like, I don't know, doubts.

For me, when I go on court, I forget about that. I only focus on the things that are going to make me play better and just win points. I realized that if I'm going to win points and I'm going to play well, the stress is going to go away anyway.

So, yeah, it's not easy, but I feel like on court I can just do my job and I'm happy about it, that I kind of can make these doubts go away.

Sometimes it's also hard to do that for, like, the whole season. So for sure in Toronto, Cincinnati I had a lot more doubts, yeah.

Q. I think you have gone through some ups and downs during the year. You had big charity event for Ukraine. You played the first WTA tournament in your country. Do you think that kind of experience helped you to be a better player?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, it's totally different experience than we have on these big tournaments that we are actually preparing for.

For sure the tournament in Warsaw and event that I had in Poland, it was totally new experience. It was kind of weird because you know one is the exhibition so you don't have to play perfectly, and the other is just 250, you don't have to like, I don't know, get these points so badly. It's not going to, like, change your season.

You feel like you have to maybe do a little bit more, but on the other hand your expectations are going up. For sure it was tough, these two things, to handle because they were new.

But still I feel like I could actually just do a check and focus on another goals and other obstacles. But I'm pretty proud of that charity event because it's amazing that we were able to do something like that. It shows also that if I'm going to have any idea for the future, that actually my team in Poland, which I'm so grateful for, is going to be able to handle all of it.

Q. If you were able to win this tournament in conditions that you described as so challenging, what do you think might happen when you get to a tournament in conditions that are to your liking? Are you going to be invincible then?

IGA SWIATEK: I don't know honestly. I still have to realize that it's tough out there, so I want to stand on the ground, kind of, stay on the ground.

I have played some tournaments like that this season. Miami, for example, was like that. I really like it there. It's just easier. But still you need the same kind of focus and the same kind of routine.

I don't know.

THE MODERATOR: I'm told if you open up the top of the trophy, there may be something.

IGA SWIATEK: Oh, my God. Are you kidding me?

Wow, who did that?

So nice. I'm going to get dirty.

CHRIS WIDMAIER: We notice you always check your trophy. This time we wanted you to find something. It is from the US Open.

IGA SWIATEK: Thank you. I really appreciate it. Especially since I didn't have anything to eat.

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