Iga Swiatek beats the odds to become the next ‘tennis superstar’ French Open 2022

a Hours after Iga Swietec consolidated his dominance with a second French Open Blazing for his 35th consecutive victory in the title race that never ends the weary champions of Poland, speaking from the corner of a small room, propped his foot up on the handle of his chair as he did those years. remembered what had led him to his present success.

“My journey from the beginning was basically what my dad liked best,” Sweetek said. “He made really good choices, sometimes really bad choices, but it wasn’t like I had 10 people around telling us how to deal with anything and what we had to do. We had to go our own way. Had to choose ourselves and of course we were really lucky that he took some good decisions and I had good coaches in the beginning because honestly, I didn’t have any system that could help us.”

Sweetek displayed her early promise as a junior, but it took her a long time to believe she could achieve the career she’s currently pursuing.

She may be a perfectionist who always thought she could do better, but the lack of examples from her part of the world makes it far more difficult to imagine such success.

“It was so hard for me to believe that I was going to be the world’s No. 1,” she said. “Because thinking logically, when you take my country, how many people have succeeded, it was only Agnieszka. [Radwanska] basically. My chances of becoming a tennis superstar were slim. I love math and my brain usually thinks about probabilities, so I thought maybe it wasn’t definite and would be hard to accomplish.

That insecurity left behind the choices she made, particularly her decision to stay in school until high school finished: “I always had a plan B,” she said.

“I went to high school even when I was 18 and I was really focused on that. I felt like I was doing two things at a time. Even in 2020, I still felt that if I need a plan B if tennis isn’t working.”

The season began with a full, highly consistent World No. 1, Ashleigh Barty of Australia playing the best tennis of her career and wrecking the tour. Sweetek has not lost a single match since Barty’s retirement.

This is the biggest chance in recent history of the WTA that they missed each other very little in top form, and were unable to build up a rivalry.

Sweetek says that Barty has helpfully texted her several times since her retirement and when asked if she wished she could test her current game against Barty, she never more. was not animated.

Poland's Inga Swietek hits a backhand against Coco Gauff of the United States in the women's singles final of the French Open.
Inga Swietec has won 35 matches in a row so far. Photograph: TPN/Getty Images

“I do,” she said. “I was thinking about it yesterday. I would love to be in better shape than him when I’m playing against him, just want more variety and more abilities and get a win against Ash. He’ll be great.”

Tennis season moves fast and grass season begins on Monday, a new boundary win for Sweetek as she attempts to extend her streak. Sweetek actually won her only junior Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2018, but she doesn’t rank herself high on the surface just yet. He has consistently argued that conditions were slow that year.

“My coach believes I can win more matches on the grass,” she said. “I don’t know about it right now. But I’d like to add like a thing or two. Yeah, but honestly, grass is always tricky. I really like the part I don’t expect there to be. It’s kind of It’s refreshing.”

Sweetek is currently on the entry list for the Berlin WTA 500 tournament, which begins on 13 June, but it appears she will not be able to play. When her eyes are set on the grass, she will prepare on two meadows at a private club an hour and a half from Warsaw.

But for the time being their priorities are clear. After seeing her idol Rafael Nadal in the final of the French Open, she will spend more and more days without a tennis racket in her hands. “It will be the best thing for me because I’ve been on tour since the Fed Cup.” [in April],” she said. “Then I’m back home like one night. It doesn’t really count.”

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