Iga Swiatek says she had to "grow up" quickly after she abruptly became the world No 1 on the WTA Tour. In late March of 2022, Ashleigh Barty announced a shock retirement from tennis at the age of 25. Just before Barty's announcement, Swiatek won Indian Wells and reached a career-high ranking of No 2 in the world.
But at the time, Swiatek was still far away from Barty. Then, Barty announced her retirement and after Miami Swiatek became the new world No 1. "It depends, because like professionally I think I change a lot, because I'm in a totally different situation.
I had to kind of grow up tennis-wise pretty quickly because I became World No. 1 and I had to handle that. Plus, you know, winning two more slams, it was a dream come true, but also, you know, a huge experience. But as a person I think I'm just growing up like a normal way.
Yeah," Swiatek explained, per Sportskeeda.
Swiatek has been ranked at No 1 ever since
This week, Swiatek entered her 50th consecutive week at the top spot. In 2022, Swiatek enjoyed a historic season as many were absolutely impressed by what she was able to accomplish.
But because of her results in 2022, Swiatek entered the 2023 season feeling enormous pressure and expectations. In Australia, Swiatek didn't look very good on the court and her Australian Open campaign ended with a round-of-16 defeat to Elena Rybakina.
After the Australian Open, Swiatek took some time to reflect on everything as she knew that something needed to change. "Well, after Australian Open, honestly I did a lot of work to not feel like I’m playing not to lose.
So right now I don’t feel that way," Swiatek said in Indian Wells. Swiatek didn't manage to win the Australian Open but when the time comes for the French Open, she will certainly be the top favorite.