“I feel more free”- Swiatek’s Imperious Return to Form

In recent months, Iga Swiatek, known for her remarkable success, faced some challenges. For someone who enjoyed a phenomenal 37-match winning streak and secured six consecutive titles last year, not clinching a title during the North American hard-court swing may have been disappointing.

It’s important to note that Swiatek’s performance remained strong. The four-time Grand Slam champion reached the semifinals in both Montreal and Cincinnati and made it to the second week of the US Open, although her journey was unexpectedly halted by a formidable Jelena Ostapenko.

Despite these setbacks, Swiatek’s time in the US was filled with positive moments.

However, after 75 consecutive weeks as the World No. 1, she left New York without her US Open title and the top ranking. It seemed like the right moment for the 22-year-old to take a step back and regroup.

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Swiatek’s Excellent Form: Less Overanalysis

Swiatek started the Asian portion of the season as a debutant and with a fresh outlook after a period of recovery and a return to the practice court. She was no longer burdened by the demands of defending her No. 1 ranking.

The young Pole is now participating in her third 1000-level final in 2023, proving that her shift in perspective has certainly paid off.

“I’m trying to not overanalyze or overthink on every tournament,” Swiatek explained, following her semi-final win over Coco Gauff in Beijing.

“For sure just the feeling that I get on court. This surface and these balls, maybe they fit me. I have, like, more positive thoughts when I play. I have a feeling that I also have Plan B if something doesn’t work out.”

“But overall, yeah, I’m trying to do the work mentally like on every tournament. Maybe, yeah, not being No. 1 helps a little bit with that.”

Swiatek: Feeling Good on the Match Court

Swiatek was open in admitting that it had been a few months since she felt confident enough in her abilities to play on instinct rather than overthinking situations and feeling good on the match court once more.

“I wouldn’t say also that it’s been a long time since I haven’t felt it because I know there are players that kind of feel baggage on their shoulders for much more time. For me, it’s a couple of months.”

“It’s just easier [now]. You can keep your focus better and longer. You don’t have any thoughts that are kind of messing with your head.”

“Sometimes it’s even, like, easier to run or easier to technically do something because it goes more naturally.”

Dominic Spinley

Dominic Spinley

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