Iga Swiatek recounts 'dreaming of feeling natural in social situations'

As a girl, Swiatek was very introverted.

by Dzevad Mesic
Iga Swiatek recounts 'dreaming of feeling natural in social situations'
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Iga Swiatek reveals as a kid she didn't dream at night about becoming a pro tennis player but of "feeling more natural in social situations." Growing up, Swiatek was very introverted and that was making it really hard for her to establish connections and make new friends.

At times, just speaking to people and looking people directly in the eyes during a conversation was a challenge for Swiatek. While Swiatek is still introverted, she has made major progress in social situations over the last few years. “You might imagine that I stayed up all night as a kid dreaming about being a big tennis player, but no.

To tell you the truth, at night, I dreamed about feeling a bit more natural in social situations. There was a time in my life when I was so introverted that speaking to people was a real challenge. Until I was 17 or 18, it was hard sometimes to look people in the eyes.

I hated how hard it was for me. It felt really bad not being able to make connections. But with some people, my mind was just blank, and I didn't know what to say. Small talk wasn't natural to me. My story isn't like a lot of other athletes, and that’s okay," Swiatek told The Players' Tribune.

Swiatek's advice for fellow introverts

Recently, Swiatek revealed that she wrote a note about what she wanted to talk with Rafael Nadal during their first meeting. While revealing that, Swiatek said she thinks writing notes can be helpful to all introverts.

"I don't remember what was on that note. But this was not a unique situation! I did this more often as a teenager. I recommend it to all introverts! If I didn't know someone, I didn't know what we could talk about. Now I'm opening up more and more.

I wouldn't want anyone to look at me as a person from another world now. And [Rafael Nadal] thought I had no problems, that everything was perfect with me. Each of us has our own bubble on tour. We let the most important people in. And its interior looks different than you can read in the media," Swiatek told SportoweFakty.

Iga Swiatek