Iga Swiatek: There is a target on my back, I didn't feel this last year

Swiatek admits she has noticed that people now expect more from her.

by Dzevad Mesic
Iga Swiatek: There is a target on my back, I didn't feel this last year

Iga Swiatek admits she feels "there is a target on my back" and noted that's something she didn't feel last year. After a disappointing Australian Open result, Swiatek returned to action in mid-February as the Pole won Doha.

The following week, Swiatek also made the Dubai final but this time lost against Barbora Krejcikova. After seeing the reaction to her Dubai final loss, Swiatek realized that anything but the title is considered not enough.

"After Doha and Dubai, I felt it [the expectation] pretty strongly. Because I won a WTA 500 and was in the final of a 1000 - it was like a small streak of matches that were pretty solid and I was really composed. But, still, I lost in the final and people were, I don’t know, surprised, not happy with the performance, just critical.

And it made me think that last year before this huge streak and before winning all these tournaments I would be so happy with this result. But with all these comments right now, I felt like, ‘oh, that’s not enough,'" Swiatek said, per Eurosport.

Swiatek: There is a target on my back

"I feel like there’s a target on my back a little bit, which I didn’t feel last year. It’s a different situation, and I have to adjust to that. So I’m trying not to read a lot of these things.

I don’t want it to influence me because I’m happy with all the work I’ve done. This is the example of how people’s attitudes changed a little bit - and I don’t think it’s a positive change - but for me for sure there is more pressure and expectations because of that.

But I’m trying to [cope with] that in the best way possible. I think I’m doing good," Swiatek added. Now, Swiatek is set to return to action at a WTA 1000 event in Indian Wells. Last year, Swiatek won her first Indian Wells title after beating Maria Sakkari in the final. This year, Swiatek is the top-seeded player and the top favorite to win it all in the desert again.

Iga Swiatek