Iga Swiatek's strength and conditioning coach shares how Pole argues with team

Swiatek's strength and conditioning coach Maciej Ryszczuk gets candid on the Pole's French Open win.

by Dzevad Mesic
Iga Swiatek's strength and conditioning coach shares how Pole argues with team
© Getty Images Sport - Corinne Dubreuil

Iga Swiatek's strength and conditioning coach Maciej Ryszczuk reveals the Polish tennis superstar likes to argue with her team in a playful way and also admits there were certain fears going into this year's French Open considering how much tennis the 23-year-old had already played on clay.

After suffering a semifinal loss in her clay season opener in Stuttgart, Swiatek went on to clinch back-to-back titles at WTA 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Rome. But since Madrid and Rome switched to a two-week format, Swiatek was basically in constant action for around 25 days and she played 12 matches across Madrid and Rome. 

While there were no any questions about Swiatek's form leading up to the French Open, some wondered if playing so much tennis would leave any mental or physical toll on the Pole. But at the French Open, Swiatek ticked every box successfully and ended up claiming her fifth Grand Slam title after destroying Jasmine Paolini 6-2 6-1 in the final. 

"To be honest, this year, we didn’t know how she was going to react. She played a lot of tournaments in a row, so I wasn’t so sure. All my data said it should be fine. We were thinking that if she could handle it mentally… Because it’s the same routine for ten weeks: it’s a lot, and it can get boring… But if she could accept, mentally, to push, then we knew her body was supposed to handle it, too," Ryszczuk told Tennis Majors.

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek © Getty Images Sport - Tim Goode

Ryszczuk: Swiatek likes to argue with us

While Swiatek has managed to become a great champion and establish herself as the best player in women's tennis, she has an introverted nature. In tennis circles and the locker room, Swiatek is always described as someone very humble and kind. 

But also, there is another characteristic that Swiatek is well-known for - she is a big perfectionist and she is never satisfied until the task or goal is fully completed. 

And Ryszczuk, who has been working with Swiatek for more than four years now, reveals the 23-year-old Pole can start an argument with her team, but it usually comes out of her perfectionism and need to have all the answers. 

"She likes to argue with us. When I tell her it’s time to stop, she will say she wants to do a little bit more, and if I say we need to do more, she’ll say, maybe it’s time to stop! It’s not as easy with her as everyone might think!" Ryszczuk shared.

"She’s a perfectionist, so if there’s any mistake or some struggles in the movement, it’s then crucial to work on it, to talk with her, to explain to her why we’re doing this and when we’re going to improve this. She likes to see a lot of data but only one time, and then she doesn’t want to listen to it."

Iga Swiatek and her team
Iga Swiatek and her team © Getty Images Sport - Corinne Dubreuil

Ryszczuk on the pressure of working with Swiatek

Since Ashleigh Barty's abrupt retirement in 2022 March, Swiatek has taken the WTA throne and has accomplished the most in women's tennis. While Swiatek constantly works on her game and getting better, all of that wouldn't be possible if she wasn't physically so strong and able to endure all of those physical challenges. 

Ryszczuk has undoubtedly played a big part in Swiatek's great success but admits that working with the five-time Grand Slam champion is a job that brings a lot of pressure since he can't afford to make a wrong move.

"Yes, for sure. Not many people know about it, but it’s a big pressure. I feel the pressure," Ryszczuk noted.

"She’s not the one putting a lot of pressure because she trusts me, but at the beginning, she was asking a lot of questions. Once we gained the trust, we could easily go from year to year and tournament to tournament. 

"But it’s a lot of pressure because you can’t make mistakes. If with the coach you give her a day off but then she’s out of her tennis, it’s going to be our fault. If we push too much and then she gets injured, then again it’s our fault. There’s a lot of pressure, but for now, it’s fine."

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Meanwhile, Swiatek will now probably take a few days off to rest and recover. Next week, a WTA 500 tournament in Berlin and that's where Swiatek is scheduled to start her grass season. 

However, going from clay to grass in such a short may be too demanding for Swiatek's body and it will be interesting to see what decision she and her team will make.

Iga Swiatek French Open