Iga Swiatek: "Sometimes you feel that everyone is angry with you"

Iga Swiatek analyzes his growth, at the media day of the Qatar Open

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Iga Swiatek: "Sometimes you feel that everyone is angry with you"
© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

The WTA No.1 Iga Swiatek will play at the Qatar Open in Doha with the pressure of having to defend the title and, above all, the first position in the women's ranking, at great risk after her disappointing Australian Open, where she was defeated in the third shift.

As unfortunately happens too often (to a tennis player who has won 4 Slams, absurd), the Pole is the victim of harsh criticism, many of which are gratuitous and senseless. There is no point in fossilizing about Serena Williams: a ruler like the American legend is born once in a generation, therefore it is useless to compare today's tennis players (except perhaps Coco Gauff) to the 23-time Slam champion.

"I always have the feeling that the season is long and that there are many opportunities in the subsequent tournaments. So I will work hard and do my best. Last year I learned that there is no point in defending anything, they are completely different chapters and stories. You can't expect much from tennis, because it always surprises you," said Swiatek at the media day on the eve of Doha.

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

"I've grown up, for sure"

The 22-year-old confirmed that she now sees tennis from a different perspective.

"I've grown up, that's for sure. I would have changed even without those victories, because I was 19 and now I'm almost 23. My style of play has also changed, although many things remain the same. My work group remains for the mostly the same, I have people to lean on. I'm happy with how the previous years went," she told.

"I feel like people have expectations of us, because they expect us to take a stand or share what we think and our opinions. I always try to remember that if I don't feel comfortable doing that, most people respect that, including journalists.

There's definitely some responsibility, even though I'm training and working hard. I feel like because I'm at the top of the league, I have to have rules. Sometimes it's a little harder to take it easy, because you feel like everyone is angry at you.

But I also try to live with all of this. Sometimes you feel like society forces you to do things differently than you would, but it's good to remember who you are, regardless of your ranking," explained the Polish tennis player.

Iga Swiatek Qatar Open