Iga Swiatek makes honest admission on how she felt people looked at her in 2020

Swiatek became a Grand Slam champion at the age of 19 when she won the 2020 French Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
Iga Swiatek makes honest admission on how she felt people looked at her in 2020
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Iga Swiatek says everything happened so quickly and "suddenly" for her as the Pole admits in 2020 she felt people weren't sure if she was going to be a big-time star or just a one-Slam wonder.

In 2020, Swiatek had just turned 19 a few months earlier before winning the French Open - which started in September that year due to the pandemic. At the time, Swiatek drew attention to herself and it was clear that she could be a big-time player on clay but there were doubts about whether she would be able to also become great on hard and clay.

But now four years later, Swiatek is a four-time Grand Slam champion and this Monday celebrated her 101st week at the world No. 1 spot. 

"Everything happened suddenly, after Roland Garros 2020, but I felt that at that time people still didn't know if I would be a one-time athlete, or if I would continue to play well. Although honestly, I didn't know either," Swiatek said. 

Iga Swiatek and Sofia Kenin
Iga Swiatek and Sofia Kenin© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Swiatek on having a bit of 'unrealistic' expectations placed on her now

In the past, there was a time when Swiatek was doubted. Now, there are expectations for Swiatek to win pretty much whenever she is playing. Addressing that, 22-year-old Swiatek admits that's not something easy to navigate.

"My consistency put me in that position, it's a good role because I always wanted to inspire others. Plus, it's easier to find motivation when you feel like the kids are watching you," Swiatek explained. 

"At the same time, it also puts a bit of a burden on your shoulders, it's not easy to balance, because everyone treats you as if you should play for them, not for me. I’m still learning how to deal with this without it affecting my mindset or my attitude."

Meanwhile, Swiatek is two wins away from winning her first Madrid Open title as she plays against Madison Keys in the semifinal tomorrow.

Iga Swiatek French Open