April 23, 2023
Stuttgart, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany
I. SWIATEK/A. Sabalenka
THE MODERATOR: Iga, congratulations. Your second consecutive title here at Stuttgart. Just talk about the emotions and how much you wanted to win today.
IGA SWIATEK: Well, there are a lot of emotions, honestly. I wanted to win really, really hard, but I knew that I can't really focus on that and just I have to keep doing my job as I did on previous matches.
I'm pretty happy that I could kind of have good mentality and just focus on what I want to do tennis-wise and not, you know, what's gonna happen after the match.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Congratulations. We were talking, after your first match, we were talking that probably it was a little bit rusty. Today I felt your serve was amazing, was spot-on since the first game. I was going to ask if that surprised you and the way like you served since the beginning, and how much it helped you to be focused?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, for sure I kind of analyzed every day what I need to improve on my serve. It wasn't really complicated. I just needed to be composed and really do it, you know, on every serve.
Today I was so focused and like sharp, I could actually take care of that and I wasn't -- you know, maybe in second set it got a little bit shaky on my first serve, but from the beginning I felt like this is a good day, and I feel like every day I have been doing progress. Even when I played these two games against Ons, I felt like I'm starting to feel better and better.
So I just believed in it, and I did my work, you know, throughout the whole week, and it paid off today.
Q. Congrats. On the serve, you weren't broken obviously today. How much of that do you think was related to specifically the shot of the serve, how well you were serving, hitting your spots, keeping her off balance, compared to how you played the service point out to win the point?
IGA SWIATEK: Oh, my God. That's pretty hard question. I think you know better, honestly. You have so much experience.
But me, from my point of view, it's hard for me to analyze what was the specific thing that made me win those games. For sure, you know, at the beginning, for sure, you know, I was winning just points sometimes only from the serve and she missed returns. So I gained confidence because of that. That was a big help.
In the second set it changed a little bit. I felt like Aryna was putting more pressure when she was playing the returns. So I think it's both. I think I played really nice today, and even when I didn't serve the best way I was able to use my defense a little bit and get back at, you know, at having initiative.
So I think it's both. Depends maybe on the situations during the match. At the beginning for sure I felt like my serve was doing the work. Later maybe, yeah, as you said, little bit of how I constructed the point.
Q. Congratulations. Here you had a local fan club, some kids, and some kids walking in, semifinal, final. Can you tell us anything about it? Has there been any interaction? How do you like these ideas?
IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, well, we were basically meeting after every match. It's hard for us to communicate, because I can't speak German and they still are in the process of learning English (smiling).
But I just enjoy the vibe, and I hear them from when they are cheering on the stadium, and it's pretty amazing. I'm just happy that, you know, they are into tennis and they like how we play and they are supporting.
That's one of my goals to actually like bring more kids to playing tennis, mostly in Poland. I didn't know that I have that much influence in other countries.
But for sure it's something that inspires me as well. When I see those kids, I want to, you know, behave better, play better. Yeah.
Q. You arrived here last Saturday. You had basically twice practice session per day until your first match. How much it help you to get into your rhythm and find your shots and probably the best move for the week?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, for sure I would say that this is a tournament that totally, you know, I needed to improve my level from the beginning till the final day. It happened. So I'm glad. Similar to, you know, US Open, I had to always kind of catch up to win these matches.
But yeah, these practice sessions helped, for sure, and I always remembered that I have, you know, some backup in terms of my moving, and I don't need to have that exact, you know, feeling that we are searching for to move and to run for every ball.
On clay it's easier to do that, so that gave me a lot of confidence because I had that backup plan.
Q. In terms of two successful title defenses this year already, and obviously semifinal Indian Wells and final in Dubai, given the amount of pressure coming into the year in terms of points defending, which I know you don't care about, about but it exists, how pleased are you at this point of the season in terms of how you have been able to kind of manage that?
IGA SWIATEK: Oh, very pleased. Honestly, the beginning of the season was so tough that I'm happy to be in that place now. I just hope I'm gonna kind of continue having that good mindset without looking at all this stuff. Thank you for reminding me, by the way (smiling).
Yeah, I don't care, honestly. I just want to play good tennis. I don't want to think about all that stuff that is usually bothering us.
So I was able to do that here. I really like playing on clay, so I just hope I'm gonna focus on just tennis, you know, just playing.
Q. Congrats. One year ago you just became No. 1 after Ashleigh retired, and it came surprising to you because she retired. Now you're No. 1 for a whole year. What does that mean to you and how you have settled in being No. 1?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, I'm just pretty proud of my consistency, because when I was consistent on another level, it was nice, but this level kind of, it's over my expectations even.
So last year was really, really tough, and I felt like this season may be tough, you know, because of what people are saying and expectations from the outside.
And also, you know, I knew how it is to like win these tournaments in a row. So I just hope that I'm not gonna be the kind of person who is you going to suddenly expect it on every tournament.
So I'm happy that I managed to work through it. That was probably the biggest, and maybe I'm still gonna have situations like that, you know, but that was like the biggest thing that I had to go through at the beginning of the year.
Now I feel like I just can use my experience a little bit more, more than like worry about stuff. I'm just happy that I'm World No. 1 for more than a year, and it's an exciting time (smiling).
Q. On the court you also mentioned the Polish fans. Has there been any interaction or do you know specific that some people came here from Poland to see you or some Poles from Stuttgart took the time?
IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, well, my friends came here, so I know that a lot of people came. It's close and similar to, you know, the tournament in Ostrava. I'm also going to be playing actually in Warsaw this year, and there are going to be many opportunities, but I'm happy people are traveling to all these places and supporting me, because you could feel today that like Polish people were the loudest ones, and it was fun to hear that and have that support.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports