Iga Świątek: I’m glad I’m healthy

“I’m glad I’m healthy” – ured Iga Świątek at a press conference before the start of the Grand Slam French Open. She came to Paris, where the Polish tennis player will defend her title, after the quarterfinals of the tournament in Rome.

In the capital of Italy, Świątek gave up due to a thigh injury in the third set of the meeting with Kazakh Jelena Rybakina.

“Fortunately, nothing serious happened. I patiently waited for the test results and it turned out that I needed a few days break. I should be ready for the first round match. I am very happy that I can come back here and compete,” emphasized the Polish woman.

“I needed this break. Since the tournament in Stuttgart, I played all the time and focused only on this. Calming down, thinking about something else and analyzing what has happened over the course of the season has helped me a lot. I’m trying to take the positives out of this situation.”

A year ago, Świątek went to Paris as an iron favourite. Prior to the tournament, she had 28 wins in a row and won events in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome. It seemed that she was untouchable and indeed she reached for the trophy in a very good style.

Now the situation is different. The charge of coach Tomasz Wiktorowski is still number one in the world, but this season she has recorded only two tournament victories – in Doha and Stuttgart. As a result, her advantage over Aryna Sabalenka, second on the WTA list, was greatly reduced.

“I feel it’s a completely different situation than last year. It’s good to feel that someone is watching you. We played so many matches (with Sabalenka – PAP) that we know what each of us has to offer. It’s quite exciting because I’ve never experienced anything like it before.

In Paris, she will not only defend the title, but also 2,000 ranking points. There are several possible scenarios of losing number one by Świątek. The nearly 22-year-old Polish woman will certainly lose the lead in the ranking if Paris does not reach at least the semi-finals. However, if Sabalenka reaches the final, Świątek will keep the lead only in the event of another triumph on the courts of Roland-Garros

“I didn’t even know about it,” admitted Świątek.

Świątek defended her title once in Paris. After the triumph in 2020, she was eliminated in the quarterfinals in the following year. The last player to defend her title at the French Open was Justine Henin. The Belgian won three consecutive events in 2005-07.

First round matches will be played from Sunday to Tuesday. Świątek will start with a meeting with Cristina Bucsa. She faced the Spaniard once before – she easily defeated her in the 3rd round of this year’s Australian Open 6:0, 6:1. Bucsa is currently 67 on the WTA list. (PAP)

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