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May 7, 2024

Iga Swiatek

Roma, Italia

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Iga, congratulations on Madrid.

IGA SWIATEK: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: A long final. Now you're here in Rome. Your thoughts on being here?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, for sure it's life on tour. It's pretty crazy being in Madrid, packing straightaway after the final and coming here.

I'm happy to be here because I love this place. I have already practiced today in the morning. It's fun. For sure it's a challenge to adapt. But it's nice to have problems like that.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In terms of that adaptation, over time how have you learned how to make the quick adjustment when you go so deep? It looked like you picked up really quickly from Madrid. Does that mean it eats into your time of celebrating and you force yourself to shift gears?

IGA SWIATEK: Usually I would say, even if I win, it doesn't stick in my head. I celebrate for one day, then I'm off to another tournament in my head even. Right now I really want to celebrate this one because we just fought for it really hard.

I don't do that on purpose. I don't think it's going to matter because these first two days on court, you can kind of...

I would say I'm giving myself time to play tennis more relaxed way, not think about playing matches or points because really we don't have time to rest properly.

You also have to use these days and I treat them a little bit like days off. I only try to focus to get used to the bounce and the (indiscernible) honestly. I try to use this time as a reset as well. But I'm not forcing it, yeah.

Q. This is obviously a big tournament, another big tournament, then there's another big tournament, French Open, coming up. What have you learned about staying fresh during this whole period to make sure through the whole clay season you're in great shape?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, I'm not expecting myself to be fresh. Truly, like when I came to Madrid, I was more tired at the beginning of the tournament after Stuttgart than I was actually before the final. It really depends how the matches are going to look like.

I know that if I'm going to stay longer in a tournament, I might have also some days off where I don't even practice. We're trying to plan it differently than last seasons because we are worried. These tournaments are longer and it's not possible to have days off before, so sometimes you have to have them during.

Also it's the kind of approach that we are still trying to figure out because we never actually did it. I always practiced in between matches. I mean, my coaches are planning it. No point for me to focus on that because I want to win first matches, and we'll see what's going to happen afterwards. If I lose, then I'm going to have a hundred days off, so...

Q. What are you hoping to get most out of a day off? To get physically or mentally refreshed?

IGA SWIATEK: It depends. When you lost and you feel like you need to, I don't know, get yourself together and really reset mentally because it kind of stuck to your mind and you can't get rid of that loss, for sure it's more mentally.

I feel like after such a match we played in Madrid, it's more physically. For sure when you wake up the next day, everything hurts. So now I would say physically.

Q. You have already won two times here in Rome. Last year you lost in the quarters, but you were injured. What do you like more, the tournament, the city, the food?

IGA SWIATEK: Oh, my God, I love the food. I was literally just eating for the last two days (smiling).

I don't know. I love this tournament. I love the different vibe that it has. The courts, nature that is everywhere. Fans, as well. It's pretty crazy here usually with the fans. They're loud and they're everywhere.

I also like the fact that I know these courts. I feel comfortable here because I know every place and every corner. You can see also that it's improving little bit. The locker rooms were renovated for us. I would say it's much more comfortable now than three years ago.

Q. I know you're a big Rafa fan. We're coming up to the end of his career. He created a great legacy in Paris. How do you put into words the legacy he's created, the most impressive record in any tournament by anyone? Rafa in Paris, his legacy?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, it's huge. It's something he has built with hard work for so many years. It's even hard to really imagine. But for sure he's a huge role model.

Him playing in Paris is always something special for the fans. I'm sure that he's really determined to, like, play well on every tournament, not only there.

I think the whole fuss created around him in Paris is something pretty amazing and entertaining. So, yeah...

Q. We see many injuries in the ATP Tour for the top players. You see Jannik Sinner, Medvedev or Alcaraz. Now that the circuit is on clay courts, do you think the tennis on clay courts is so much demanding for the physical more than the past?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, I think overall, sport is more demanding because we play faster. I mean, on the other hand we're really focused on getting our physicality better. Sometimes you have more prevention because of that. On the other hand, everybody is stronger. Everybody is moving little bit better. It's also harder to win matches.

I mean, it's hard for me to compare ATP tennis on clay and hard. I'm not that kind of specialist actually in terms of analyzing to know why they have injuries now. Maybe on the other hand it's just a coincidence that it happened only couple of days.

Well, yeah, I think overall the tour is getting more and more demanding because of the length of the tournaments and all these mandatory rules, both on ATP and WTA. We'll see what it's going to bring in the future.

For sure scheduling-wise, the planning is going to be more important, sometimes even passing some tournaments that are important for you, for you to be ready for next one. Yeah, we'll see.

Q. I know you've been very busy with everything, but I'm curious if you found the two or three hours that one needs to listen to The Tortured Poets Department and what you think of that album.

IGA SWIATEK: I listened to it straightaway after Stuttgart.

I like it. I would say there are, like, seven songs that I really like. I made a playlist of all of them. I know Taylor wouldn't approve of me listening to only some of them, but I have my picks.

Rest of them are... I mean, I fell asleep twice when I was flying. Also because I'm not sleeping after last matches of tournaments.

I have my picks. The other songs I feel like the words are so complicated that she focused more on that than the music itself. It's less poppy. There's not much beat or whatever.

Yeah, I feel like the melody is kind of adjusting to the words, if you know what I mean, rather than... It's just my feeling. I don't know what she focused on. She always focuses on lyrics, so it's hard to say.

Sorry, my answer is too long (smiling).

But I like it. Totally different vibe than Midnights. I most like the songs that are kind of leaning forwards, the vibe of Folklore and Evermore. I would love her to come back to that.

On the other hand, she said in some interviews these two albums are not about her, so it's not her style. If it's not about her and her experiences...

Q. What are some of your top seven? Do you prefer the Antonoff or Dessner productions?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, I'm not sure who's producing these ones. It's So Long, London, The Alchemist and The Albatross. Some Chloe Marcus something. Sorry, I don't remember the title. And the one about Florence and The Machine. Post Malone, obviously. A couple more, yeah.

Now I'm going to get hate that I don't remember titles and I'm not a real Swifty. I'm sorry, guys. I'm not the best kind of Swifty, but... Don't judge me.

Q. Was one of the songs you liked I Can Do It With a Broken Heart?


Q. I Can Do It With a Broken Heart on the new album...

IGA SWIATEK: That's another one.

Q. I was wondering whether you identify with it because it's about questions about being a public figure, having to get out there and perform even though you're not necessarily...

IGA SWIATEK: Well, only tennis broke my heart couple of times, so I can relate sometimes. Tennis can be heartbreaking, and then you have to go on court and play again, yeah.

Q. I'm writing a piece about the rankings. Players talk about how they try to focus on their game, their progress, not on the rankings. How easy or hard is that, particularly at the beginning of your career, to not look at rankings, not attach your thoughts on your progress on what the number says next to your name? Also, how weird is it to have a number next to your name?

IGA SWIATEK: I think because of the fact that we are pretty solid, it's not like I'm fifth and then I'm first. There are not a lot of changes in the top three, top four area. I think because of that, we can actually focus more on the progress I think from my perspective. It's not hard for me to do that because, honestly, we're kind of busy doing that and practicing and working on technical stuff.

But for sure last year I felt that I didn't start the season well. I won Doha, for example, but it was a 500. I felt like I'm not in good position in terms of the rankings. If I'm going to stumble during the season later, I may be in trouble of keeping world No. 1 as I actually did.

But this year I feel pretty comfortable because I felt like I played well. I just want to enjoy, honestly, being on tour, and not put too much baggage on my shoulders because we have to survive to November. There's no point of doing that.

Q. How was it at the start of your career?

IGA SWIATEK: Honestly, it was so smooth that I never had to worry about that. I remember I was looking at my top ranking. I was excited. I always posted that on my Instagram, that that's my new WTA ranking.

When I look at it now, it all went so smoothly that I didn't have a moment where I kind of stopped. Honestly, the first moment where I stopped, and there's no way of progressing, is kind of right now in the rankings. That's why you need to focus on progressing as a player, not look at the numbers.

Q. A quick question about the Elle cover. I presume that you're pleased with it. In terms of leaning into that seemingly side of yourself more recently, how comfortable were you? How long did it take for you to get comfortable in the duality of on-court Iga that we kind of all know, then this kind of more glamour side of things?

IGA SWIATEK: Honestly, it was great because I really had fun. I would say posing wasn't easy at the beginning. I had a coach onset that kind of showed me what to do. Then it got easy because we're kind of used to repeating movements, even on court. I kind of used that to pose a little bit better.

At the end it was great. I was, like, doing weird stuff. On the photos it appeared so nice, I was like, Oh, my God. It feels great when you're like (showing different poses), then it looks good. It's almost like an art when this guy showed me how to pose.

So, yeah, it was really fun. At the beginning for sure I felt rusty, but I felt really confident and, like, taken care of. When you're kind of living your normal life and you're being just yourself, it's sometimes nice to feel so glamorous, as you said (smiling). It's also good to, like, treat yourself that way. So, yeah, it was really great.

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