Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek admitted she became too obsessed with her ranking earlier this year and she absolutely wants to avoid that in the future. Swiatek, who captured her maiden Grand Slam title at last year's French Open, broke into the top-10 for the first time in her career this past May.
Swiatek, 20, is currently enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 4 in the world. "I realised that I was going to be in the world’s top 10 for the first time,” Swiatek said, per Tennishead. “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. “But as soon as I realised 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”.
Swiatek echoes Rafael Nadal's words
Nadal, a former world No. 1, once advised players to stay humble if they are ranked at No. 1 and their opponent at No. 1000. Swiatek is now ranked higher in over 90 percent of her matches and she admits that brings pressure.
"For my whole life I’ve been the younger player, with the lower ranking,” the current world number four said. “I realised 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.
“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. “I’m trying to implement that in my attitude. It’s not easy, but I’m working on that”.