‘You have to be humble,’ Iga Swiatek reveals Rafael Nadal’s advice for competing at the highest level

Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek speaks on her mistakes, which she did after breaking into the top 10 of the WTA Rankings.

Rafael Nadal and Iga Świątek
Rafael Nadal and Iga Świątek

Iga Swiatek has risen up the ranks like no one else since 2020. She broke out to the world last year at the French Open and won it as a 19-year old. Ever since her Roland Garros triumph, Swiatek has shown tremendous consistency and is currently one of the best player on the WTA tour.

Earlier this year, she stormed into the top 10 for the first time. But Swiatek, who is currently at Indian Wells, revealed how she focused too much on the rankings.

“I realized that I was going to be in the world’s top 10 for the first time,” Swiatek said. “I started looking at the rankings a bit, which wasn’t a good idea, and I started comparing myself to other players. I know that’s a mistake, but our whole year and our seedings are based on rankings, so it’s hard not to look at that.”

She added that she realized that it’s in her best interest not to focus on the rankings. “But as soon as I realized that the best thing was to focus on being on court and remembering what my motivations are – and they’re not my ranking position or my rankings points total – then it was much easier,” she added.

“For my whole life I’ve been the younger player, with the lower ranking. I realized during the US Open, during my first rounds there, that it’s always harder to play with expectations and with the feeling that you have to win because you know how you can play.”

Swiatek to abide by Nadal’s advice

Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek
Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek

The World No.4 revealed what Rafael Nadal always says about staying humble. According to Rafa, it doesn’t matter if you’re No.1 in the world and you’re playing someone who is ranked 1000, you always have to stay humble.

“I like what Rafa [Nadal] always says: that you have to be humble and it doesn’t matter if you’re number one in the world and you’re playing someone who is ranked 1,000,” she said.

“I’m trying to implement that in my attitude. It’s not easy, but I’m working on that.”

Iga Swiatek bowed out of the Round of 16 at Indian Wells. She lost to 24th seed Jeļena Ostapenko in straight sets 4-6,3-6.

Also read: What if Roger Federer had served underarm against Novak Djokovic at Championship point in Wimbledon 2019 final?