World No. 1 Iga Swiatek won her 5th consecutive title last week when she defeated Ons Jabeur in the finals of the 2022 Italian Open in Rome making a successful title defence. The win in the finals was Iga’s 28th consecutive win which has placed her in the 4th spot in the list of best winning streaks this century.
The 20-year old has played 40 matches this season and has lost only 3 of those with her last defeat coming back in mid-February when she made a second-round exit in the 2022 Dubai Tennis Championships, her earliest exit of the season as in all other events she has made it to the semi-finals at least.
Iga Swiatek talks about making a winning return after skipping Madrid
Iga reached Rome after a small break that saw her skipping the 2022 Madrid Open to heal the shoulder injury that had been bothering her. Post her win in Rome, she talked with WTA Insider on returning to the Tour while being in the middle of a winning streak and coming back to win five more consecutive matches that saw her serve 2 bagels and drop just 21 games over the week, an average of 4.2 games per match.
“For sure. I would say it was much, much harder to get into the match rhythm again because before I was kind of going with the flow. I didn’t over-analyze stuff. Here, I got more time to do that. So I had to be careful with that. Also, I think all the expectations of people around, the media or the fans, went a little bit higher when they saw me on clay. So I’m pretty happy that I had my full team with me.
“It just means that before matches like that, there’s no point in thinking, ‘Oh, this streak is getting long. When am I going to lose?’ Or I don’t know, is it even possible to win so many matches? I just don’t think about it. I honestly kind of believe that the sky’s the limit and I can go even forward. That kind of attitude of just looking forward, not thinking about what’s already happened really helped me because I’m also saving energy by not doing that. I’m pretty proud of myself.
“I would say tactically, I’m preparing a little bit more carefully. We are also talking about that the night before the match. Before I had just quick tips right before warmup. So I think right now it’s looking a little bit more professional and I’m more focused on the tactical stuff. So that’s nice,” said Iga touching on various topics including her return, strategising and the expectations of the crowd.
“Any other tournament” Iga Swiatek on the French Open
Swiatek is the heavy favourite for the 2022 French Open given her exploits on the Tour this season and being one of the best players of the surface and a former champion of the major in 2020. This year, however, the Pole plans on not taking much pressure from the Grand Slam as she has pressures from various sides coming in at her.
“Well, I think the key is going to be just doing the same stuff I did before. Right now, at these tournaments, I already faced a lot of pressure. So hopefully the different kind of pressure that we have at a Grand Slam isn’t going to overwhelm me. But I’m trying to accept that the streak someday is going to finish. It’s physically and mentally hard to keep doing the same job every week because we are also humans.
“So I’m just going to try to find a little bit more distance to it and just treat the Grand Slam as any other tournament and maybe enjoying what’s around a little bit more. Enjoying that we have one day off between matches because here it was pretty intense and I didn’t even get to see Rome. So in Paris, I hope it’s going to be different,” said Iga further as she heads to the Roland Garros eyeing her second major.