Saturday, March 11, 2023 - Iga Swiatek plays against Claire Liu in the 2nd round of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Kathryn Riley/BNP Paribas Open)
THE MODERATOR: It seemed like a straightforward win today. Can you give your thoughts on your performance.
IGA SWIATEK: For sure I’m happy with the performance. It was a really solid match and I’m happy with how I adjusted to the wind, because when we were practicing, it wasn’t that windy.
Tactically and tennis-wise, everything was on point. So I’m pretty happy with my game.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. The first set you only lost seven points. Is it difficult to sort of keep your focus? That seemed remarkable, given the conditions.
IGA SWIATEK: Thank you.
Well, it is difficult. It’s like the thing that you focus on mostly when you have a score like that, and, yeah, sometimes the energy level can go down a little bit.
It did a little bit in second set at the end. So, yeah, I was aware what I have to do. I just came back with more intense game.
But on the other hand, I had so many matches that were going my way in last couple of weeks that I know what to do.
Q. Can you say a few words about how the reception might have felt different in Stadium 1 coming here having been more exposed to this crowd already that they know you better from last year?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, yeah, for sure they do. I feel that, especially when I’m warming up, and when I’m like going near to the fan area, it’s pretty crazy, and I enjoy that for sure. But on the other hand I want to sometimes stay in my zone.
In the match it’s easier to do that because everyone kind of expects you to do that. But like off the court I’m trying to balance that a little bit more to give fans what they want. I also, you know, appreciate their support. So I want to do that, but on the other hand, to still be focused and just at work, you know.
Q. In terms of just the adjustments that are required to win this tournament compared to other tournaments, night, day session, wind, heat, there’s a lot that can go on day to day. Can you talk through how you have managed that? Obviously because you won last year, you have had the experience of playing it all the way through.
IGA SWIATEK: For sure this tournament last year showed me that I can play in any conditions, and I believe a little bit more that I can adjust to any conditions.
Sometimes it’s going to be more smooth; sometimes not. But we will see what’s gonna happen this year. It’s for sure I think like maybe not the toughest one — well, at some points it’s the toughest one maybe except the surface because it’s slow and I like slower surfaces.
But for sure it’s dry, and the wind can be crazy. Last year I remember I was lucky to only play the final in the wind, but I remember that match Rafa against Carlos, right? Wow. Like, I don’t know what I would do honestly. But also, Doha showed me that I can cope with wind anyway.
So, well, it’s pretty complicated but on the other hand it’s like the most important thing you have to do in tennis, to adjust a little bit better than your opponent. So I have the confidence that I can do that and I played some pretty solid practices here, so I have like positive mindset.
Q. You wrote beautifully, bravely, about being an introvert. And you also said the key thing was gaining a certain freedom to not care what other people feel. Can you just talk about that, how you worked on that, how you got to that place, and do you feel…
IGA SWIATEK: You mean not care what other people are saying?
IGA SWIATEK: Hmm. Well, honestly, I was like lucky to do it kind of step by step, because everything I did in my career was kind of step by step. And for sure after, you know, first Roland Garros, that was the time where I had to kind of cut off everything that people thought, and maybe I thought sometimes, and just focus on work and developing as a player.
Yeah, because like playing after winning first Grand Slam is really hard. So I was always — it was always easy for me to cut off social media sometimes where I needed time off from that. I just sometimes I’m just going there to like post my stuff and I’m not reading anything. It helps, for sure.
But there are times where it hits me a little bit. Like after Doha and Dubai, you know, I won a tournament, I was in the final of another one, and like people were disappointed that I lost. It’s pretty crazy, because last year if I would have that result at that time, it would be amazing. But sometimes these comments impact me a little bit more than they should probably and also I’m not happy with the result at the end.
I don’t want to come to that point and I have like few choices. I can just not read it or I can remember and be logical and tell myself that, Hey, Iga, it’s a great result. They are saying because they don’t know, you know, what it takes to be a tennis player, and how hard it is to be consistent.
So, yeah, I’m doing that both ways.
Q. Back to the weather. I know that coaches will scout the opponents before a match, but do you also study like weather reports? Like do you have a sailor on your team studying where the wind is going to be?
IGA SWIATEK: Yeah, we do that. Maybe like today we didn’t know about the wind, because I checked the weather yesterday and Daria did as well and it didn’t show that it’s going to be that windy.
But I think the temperature is more important, because you have to string your racquets proper way. You know, wind is something that you just have to adjust to, and you don’t need like preparation for that. But we take care of that, as well. We take care of everything (smiling).
Q. Speaking of the tricky conditions here, Daniil Medvedev, he said that he was happy to play and won Doha, because the conditions of Doha is quite similar to here. Of course you also won that tournament. You are quite good to adjust to that condition. So do you think that that experience gave you other confidence or easy to play here?
IGA SWIATEK: I would say everything is similar except the humidity and the balls. So for sure in terms of the wind, it helped a lot. But I still have to get used to the balls. Maybe men’s balls are more similar to Doha’s ones because we play with different balls.
Yeah, so here the air is dry, so the balls go faster in the air. Sometimes without control, if you don’t play right.
They are lighter than the balls we played in Doha, than the Australian Open balls. So sometimes it’s easier to play without control. So for me, it’s much different.
But I know what he means in terms of the surface and the wind. Yeah.
Q. I just wanted to ask you about Mikaela Shiffrin. She got that big record today. As someone who admires what she does, what is your reaction to her being able to do what she has done at just like 27, 28? And also, is there a tennis equivalent to what she did today?
IGA SWIATEK: Hmm. Well, any of the Big 3 guys and Serena, I think. Yeah, she just dominated the sport. But on the other hand, the Big 3 had each other to kind of compete against each other, and she’s like dominating. She’s like better than anyone.
Even like Daria, because she went to Czech Republic to see her ski, she tells me that live, when you watch her, the difference is even bigger, because she’s just so smooth.
I don’t know a lot about the technique but even I can see with my eyes that, yeah, she has this huge talent. I think she’s working much better than — she’s, like, making everything too, like — sorry. To like opt- — she’s making everything to optimize her potential and to just ski well mentally, physically, and technically.
So I really respect that. She deserves this. And she’s a nice person. We haven’t met still, but like the Instagram messages tell me she’s a nice person. Huge congrats to her.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
130088-1-1063 2023-03-12 00:26:00 GMT