Tennis Prose



Iga Swiatek Adelaide Press Conference

2021 Adelaide and 2020 Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek was comfortable, open and pretty revealing during his first press conference of the year in Adelaide, Australia…

THE MODERATOR: How pleased are you to be here defending your title from last year, thoughts on being back in Adelaide.

IGA SWIATEK: You know, it’s great because I had such a great memories from last year. I remember playing few great matches here. The atmosphere was amazing, the crowd was amazing. It’s really nice to come back with those memories.

This time that’s going to be my first tournament of the season so for sure it’s a little bit different. I’m just going to, you know, take time to get into the rhythm and just remember how it was on tour.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you talk about your off-season and pre-season. How much time did you get to yourself after Guadalajara? When did things start up again? How has pre-season been going?

IGA SWIATEK: I mean, I didn’t have a lot of time to rest actually because I also had some sponsor stuff to do. This year was pretty tricky because the Finals were pushed a little bit.

Yeah, I had, like, seven days of road trip in Europe. I was like next to Lake Geneva, then I went to France a little bit. It was pretty cool. I didn’t want to change time zones because we’ve been changing time zones whole year, so… This time I stayed in Europe.

Yeah, I went back to Warsaw after a week and I started pre-season. At the beginning was pretty slow start because I felt like I still need some time to recover from last year, which was really intense. Step by step I was starting to play with more intensity.

Basically I’m pretty glad that we had also time before the Finals to practice because I feel like I did half of the pre-season there. Yeah, this time I was practicing really hard. We stop a little bit before Christmas to get rest and to eat a lot and not worry about tennis for a bit (smiling).

Q. Bringing on Tomasz, can you elaborate a little bit more on your decision making there? How have things been going with him?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, decision making wasn’t easy. I’m not good with making decisions, so it was a hard time for me.

For a week I really had my doubts. I realized that I’ve been working with Piotr for five years or even more. A lot happened since we started. I felt it’s a good time for a next step and a change to maybe, like, reset a little bit.

I also didn’t have experience of changing a coach, so I didn’t know how the process looks like. But I’m pretty happy that Tomasz was free at the moment because, yeah, I also feel like I wanted to work with someone who’s from Poland because I think I’m going to be ready for, like, coaches from different countries in maybe one or two years, but now I wanted to work with someone who understands my situation and we can speak the same language so it’s a little bit easier.

I think it’s a great decision for me. Right now we’re getting to know each other because we practiced in Poland for three weeks, so it’s not a lot. For sure in tournaments it’s a little bit different because we have different factors coming in and stress and stuff.

I think next few tournaments I’m just going to use for getting to know each other. We’re talking a lot about tennis, even off-court stuff. I feel like I just need some time to build that relationship. We’re going to see how it’s going to go.

Q. He’s so experienced obviously. Even in three weeks of working together, getting to know each other, do you already feel that experience come through, whether it’s familiarity of being back on tour, drills?

IGA SWIATEK: For sure I can see the experience. Even when we, like, not talking about specific stuff, about tennis, I can see that he’s been through a lot on tour because he’s been on tour for many years.

You can see that the WTA Tour is pretty intense, so I’m sure he’s been in some situations that if I’m going to get to them, it’s going to be easier for me because I’m going to use his experience, I’m going to lean on that.

That’s for sure something that is giving me more comfort and stability. I’m pretty glad that I have somebody on my team that has been through many things.

Q. I’ve been interested watching your practice sessions this week. You practiced with Ash and Leylah Fernandez as well. I was interested in what your session was like with Leylah because you could meet in the second round and she’s a newer star in the game. What did you make of her game? Was that the first time you practiced with her?

IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, I think so, that was the first time. It’s always tricky because we are both right now on jet lag. We were when we were playing practice. It’s pretty hard to take a lot from practice because I never played a match against her so I don’t know if she’s playing differently on practices, if she has a higher level on matches.

For sure, I mean, it’s good to have the experience and I think it’s going to give me some, like, clues before our match if we’re going to play.

I mean, I don’t want to talk a lot about that because if we are supposed to play in like second round, I don’t want her to be ready (smiling). Yeah, I guess we’re going to see.

It doesn’t really matter. I wasn’t even looking at the draw so actually you surprised me because it’s the first tournament. I’m just trying to take it step by step and see how I’m going to feel on court.

Q. In terms of returning to Adelaide as the defending champion, what is that experience like returning to an event where you have some great memories, conditions where you play well, particularly the level you played in 2021? Are you getting those good feelings back again?

IGA SWIATEK: Yes, I am. For sure, like, coming here with all these memories, it’s giving me a lot of motivation, some kind of positive energy.

Also we played at the end of February last year, so I feel like the conditions are a little bit different. For sure playing first tournament, it’s always tricky.

I mean, I feel like I’m a defending champion, but on the other hand I feel like it’s a little bit different tournament. I don’t feel any pressure, so that’s good thing. I’m just, as I said, trying to find the rhythm and just play first matches without a lot of stress and a lot of baggage on my shoulders.

It’s beginning of the season so we’re going to have a lot of chances. I’m not really looking at that tournament and focusing on that. I just know that we have plenty more tournaments to come and I want to start pretty well.

It doesn’t really need to be, like, a lot of matches won. Just want to start with positive energy. I’m focusing also on getting to know my coach (smiling).

Q. With respect to you practicing with Leylah and Ash, I think Coco today, some players like working with hitting partners, they don’t like playing with other players. You seem to be somebody who is both. Do you think that through? Does it matter to you? What do you get out of practicing with other players?

IGA SWIATEK: Well, for sure it’s something different because in Poland I only play with guys, with sparring partners. When I’m on tournament, I want to use that time to play some points and to feel, like, more the atmosphere that we have on matches. Playing with girls, it also shows me what my level is because they are my competitors. It’s a good sign before the tournament.

Well, also besides tennis it’s kind of our only chance to talk with each other sometimes because some practices we are alone on court. I mean, our teams are alone. We can also catch up and just meet each other because I didn’t have a chance to play with Coco I think, as well.

Yeah, it’s pretty cool. I like to do that because it kind of gives me a reason to socialize. I’m an introvert, so I need a reason (smiling).

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  • catherine · January 4, 2022 at 4:04 am

    Interesting interview. Re her last comment, I think we can start splitting the WTA into ‘introverts’ and ‘extraverts’ and see who comes out best on court.
    (I’d say Kerber is both.)

    Also, can someone tell Iga that her English will improve 100% if she removes the word ‘like’ from her vocabulary ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 4, 2022 at 8:51 am

    Yes I found it to be an interesting interview too. Not sure I buy the part about not looking at the draw or the jet lag affecting her practice. New coach also told in this interview he’s on a possible one year tryout basis.

  • catherine · January 4, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    They all say they never look at the draw but I bet they do. You would wouldn’t you ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 4, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    It’s a fake expression of confidence or cockiness, which communicates to the other players: “I am so confident that I don’t care who I play, the draw does n’t matter I feel ready to beat whoever is in front of me.”



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