Rising Polish star Iga Swiatek absolutely enjoyed her chance to practice with world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty prior to the US Open. Swiatek, ranked at No. 8 in the world, is establishing herself as one of the top players on the WTA Tour but she admits there are better players from which she can learn a lot -- like Barty.
Swiatek is impressed by Barty's ability to stay calm even when things aren't going perfect. “It’s really inspiring. Practising with Ash is different because you can see her mentality and the way she treats things.
When she makes a mistake, she’s not frustrated. She doesn’t seem to [get frustrated],” Swiatek told the WTA. "Even when she is frustrated, she uses it to play better and better. So I’m trying to learn from her.
I think I need a few more years to understand completely how to get there. But she’s a great player to watch and take some lessons from her."
Swiatek adjusting to being a star
Switek has had a good season, having claimed two titles.
The Pole made it all the way in Adelaide at the beginning of the season, before capturing the Rome Masters title in May. Swiatek is learning how to play "as not an underdog." “Right now, I can feel that with my ranking it’s sometimes easier to practice with players who have a better ranking than me.
I know in practice you shouldn’t look at rankings and I know that’s stupid, but everyone is doing it anyway. It’s hard sometimes to separate it," Swiatek added. “But I can see that with top players, it’s back to normal, back to one year ago when I was still an underdog, back when it was easier.
It was nice to have that feeling again. But it would be nicer to learn how to play as not an underdog. I’m giving myself time”.