With 32 straight wins and five consecutive WTA titles, Iga Swiatek is fast becoming the new flag of women’s tennis. How did 21-year-old Pole become the world’s best tennis player out of the limelight, with the help of a sports psychologist? “Only Robert Lewandowski is more popular in Poland.”
A gloomy look followed by a surrendered applause. Danka Kvinic can’t bear to watch exactly how a hard ball from Swiatek landed on the line in the third round of Roland Garros. Later in the second set, Montenegro rocks the number one in the world, but that’s all.
Kvinic has once again fallen victim to the unbridled drive of a player who wants to show the world how good he is by finally stepping to the fore. Meanwhile, winning is not enough; Swiatek is more upper class. He has won 22 of his last 24 matches without dropping a set. This year already on sixteen so-called “bagels” (won a set 6-0).
“It’s like a machine on the court,” said former tennis player Kristie Boogert, Eurosport commentator Roland Garros. “It’s very frustrating to be 6-0 when you don’t feel like you’re off the track. So is Swiatek. This is great for getting the blind on track and getting there.”
With an Olympic father – Tomasz Swiatek competed in the 1988 Olympics as a rower – his best sporting life was never far away. Swiatek’s sister Agata also had a career as a professional tennis player, but eventually chose medicine and watched her younger sister make her way to the top of the world.
“His father’s support was very important to Swiatek,” said Polish tennis star Dominika Pawlik. WP SportoweFakty† “He really encouraged his kids to start a high-end sports career. Before she turned eighteen, Iga had received good advice as a psychologist, trainer and training partner. These people were crucial to the company’s success. career so far.”
Iga Swiatek has been out of reach on the WTA Tour for months.
Sports psychologist important member of the Swiatek team
The transformation from talent to world champion has not gone smoothly at Swiatek. The Pole found that even after her junior title at Wimbledon in 2018, her peers from major tennis countries were more likely than her to receive tournament wildcards. “I felt it was harder for me to be successful professionally,” Swiatek said in a recent interview. It was frustrating,” he said. guardI
His final breakthrough came in 2020 when he suddenly won his first tournament win at Roland Garros without dropping a set. It did some work on the volatile image, staying on top, but the high expectations took their toll. More than once, Swiatek shed tears, as happened after defeats at the Olympics and WTA Finals last year.
Thanks to Daria Abramowicz, she knows how to keep a cool head on the track this year. He has been working with Polish sports psychologist Swiatek for years and is arguably the most important person on their coaching staff. “She hired her full-time psychologist last year, so she goes to almost every tournament now,” explains Boogert. “Since then, Swiatek has become incredibly strong mentally and you see fewer emotional outbursts.”
Longest series of this century
- 35 – Venus Williams (2000)
- 34 – Serena Williams (2013)
- 32 – Justine Henin (2008)
- 32 – Iga Swiatek (2022)
Abramowicz came in handy a few months ago when Ashleigh Barty abruptly ended her career and Swiatek suddenly became number one in the world. Speaking to Swiatek, he said: BBC Sports He said he had to cry for “forty minutes” when he heard the Aussie was going to stop.
“It was again very important to him that he pointed out to the psychologist that nothing else had changed. That things were the same and remained the same tennis player. There has been quite a bit of criticism of Swiatek for getting roughly number one. But when you see how dominant he is. He is mentally very strong,” said Boogert.
Swiatek also kept his cool by playing small numbers in his fourth round match against the Chinese Zheng Qinwen, who gave him his first set loss in a long time at Roland Garros. “I didn’t know what I was doing wrong,” Pole said after the game: 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-2. “So I chose to put the technical side aside and sing a Dua Lipa song. This was not the first. I always say something.”
Iga Swiatek is one of the key people on her team, along with sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz.
“No one can threaten Swiatek anymore”
Due to the unprecedented dominance of Swiatek, the question is who can compete with it in the long term. Barty is retired, Serena Williams has been absent for nearly a year and many Grand Slam winners Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep have been struggling with their form for a while.
“There are no other tennis stars who can threaten him at the moment,” says Pawlik. “He knows very well how to exploit the weaknesses of his opponents. Also, with each tournament, Swiatek becomes more mature and consistent. If he stays in shape, he can stay at the top for a long time.”
Boogert thinks Swiatek’s character speaks for itself. “Swiatek is a modest girl who will not lose her shoes so easily. He has had to build his career on his own and therefore believes strongly in his own abilities. Something he can only achieve if he loses control of his mental side. very restless So Swiatek himself is his biggest rival.”
Swiatek’s transactions in his home country of Poland are now being closely watched. His fourth round match against Zheng on Eurosport was the most watched television program in Poland that day, with an average of 1.1 million viewers. On Wednesday afternoon, fans can once again sit in front of the subway as the country’s pride takes on American Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinals.
“There is a lot of interest in Swiatek in Poland,” says Pawlik. “When Billie Jean attended the King Cup in April, the stands in Radom were packed with fans. Many people ask where they can watch his matches live. After Robert Lewandowski, we can safely say that he is one of the best. The most popular athletes in Poland.”
Iga Swiatek Championships in 2022
- WTA 1000 tournament in Doha
- WTA 1000 tournament in Indian Wells
- WTA 1000 tournament in Miami
- WTA 500 tournament in Stuttgart
- WTA 1000 tournament in Rome
Iga Swiatek will face American Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinals.
Jason Jack is an experienced technology journalist and author at The Nation View. With a background in computer science and engineering, he has a deep understanding of the latest technology trends and developments. He writes about a wide range of technology topics, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, software development, and cybersecurity.