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: There was a lot of anticipation for that match. You seemed to get through it in a very businesslike fashion.
IGA SWIATEK: Well, for sure the first set was really tight, and I’m pretty happy that I played more solid in those important moments.
I think in the middle of the set, there was like a change of momentum a little bit where I won eight points in a row, and that gave me a little bit of boost in confidence and energy.
In second set I wanted really to use that. I’m pretty happy that all these things that I have been working on, they just worked perfectly in the second set.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Just in terms of playing through your matches, getting the win against Bianca and Emma today, how are you feeling? I know that’s kind of a weird question, but just in terms of where your game is at, your focus, being able to handle everything, because the days have been a little bit tricky with the conditions as well.
IGA SWIATEK: Yes, but today I felt like it’s more similar to the conditions that we had in when we practiced here. So actually was a little bit easier to come back to that.
My coach is kind of helping me manage that in terms of, you know, how to string my racquets and everything. I’m pretty happy that he’s so experienced in that, because it’s giving me a lot of confidence.
Well, yeah, honestly, like today wasn’t a problem. I was more worried at the beginning of the tournament where the temperature went up, like, six degrees Celsius, Fahrenheit as well, probably, or even more (smiling).
Yeah, I feel like honestly after last year when we played in such hot weather and dry air, and then when I went to Miami and played in totally different circumstances, I feel like I can handle it anyway. So I’m pretty happy that I’m just playing better and better every match.
Q. Some of the women who are left have really, really big serves. How do you prepare for going from players who are sort of more finesse players like Bianca and Emma to some of these power hitters who are always trying to kick you off the court?
IGA SWIATEK: How do I prepare, you mean like tactically?
Q. Tactically, like do you have someone, you know, serve bullets at you, your hitting partner to serve bullets at you?
IGA SWIATEK: Not really, because I practice with guys anyway all the time. So I’m kind of used to actually more speed.
But still, for sure, you know, it’s probably advantage for them to get sometimes points only from the serve. But on the other hand, I think it’s a little bit harder to do that on a slower surface.
So I think, you know, for me, I don’t really care. You know, I’m ready for anything. I know that I can return really well, and if I’m gonna make it to the rally, I can make advantage there.
So I’m finding my confidence in other areas, even when my opponent is serving pretty well.
Q. It seemed like today in the match that there were quite a few rallies that seemed almost intentionally protracted, intentionally a little bit longer. I wasn’t sure if that was a tactical choice by you, that you wanted to get her into longer rallies, or if that just happened to be the case?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, you know, I always want to finish them as fast as possible if I have a chance.
But for sure I know that sometimes it’s not going to be possible here. I’m pretty sure that some of these shots would be winners in different conditions, but here the ball is bouncing and it’s slower, so I’m always pretty good in defense. I knew that I can’t rush it, you know, and I can’t be not patient, so I just stayed solid and I wanted to choose the right directions.
It was more about that, not the speed and forcing everything to play a winner.
Q. I have to ask you if you read the news about the Tsurenko withdrawal from the tournament and if you have an opinion on that, and also your position…
IGA SWIATEK: If I what? Sorry.
Q. If you read the news about Tsurenko and if you have an opinion on that considering also your position with Ukraine.
IGA SWIATEK: Well, for sure it’s a tough situation. For me, it’s pretty emotional because I feel like these situations are happening like both with people that are wearing Russian team football T-shirt, because at the beginning we kind of didn’t have proper leadership to guide us through all of that, and there is a lot of tension in the locker room that — well, obviously it’s going to be there, because there is a war.
But maybe it should be a little bit less if WTA put some action at the beginning to kind of explain to everybody what is right and what is not.
I totally understand why she withdrew, because honestly, like, I respect Ukrainian girls like so much, because if like a bomb landed in my country or if my home was destroyed, I don’t know if I could handle that, honestly, and play on WTA and compete.
You have to really mentally be there to, you know, compete every week. So I totally get that she wasn’t, you know, ready to do that. And, well, like I feel there should be done a little bit more to kind of help Ukrainian players, because I feel like the more — like, everything we discuss in tennis is more about Belarusian and Russian players if they should be allowed, like what’s going on with them.
I don’t think that’s right, because we should more focus on helping Ukrainian players and providing them everything that they need, because they basically have to take care of like all their families, and there’s a lot of baggage on their shoulders. I’ll try to kind of help with that as well, because I guess with everything that is happening, the actions that were taken up to this point were, I don’t think they were enough.
Yeah. Yeah, that’s tough. And, you know, with everything that is going on, like I — sorry. Like, I think just, you know, we should think in like more broad horizon and, you know, not be worried about if we’re going to earn money that week or next week but more about, you know, what’s at stake and what are actually the actions that may kind of stop the Russian aggression.
I feel like with everything that we are doing in tennis and with us being kind of examples for kids and for fans, we also bear some responsibility. It’s unfortunate that some people were born in countries that make the war, but I feel like with that responsibility should come — like, they should be more responsible sometimes. I don’t know how to finish that sentence.
So, yeah, that’s all. I hope you understand what I mean. I think honestly we, as tennis players, are in a better situation than most of the people in Russia and Belarusian and Ukraine, because there are many people who kind of lost their job because of the war. I think like with the money that we are earning, even the Russian and Belarusian players are kind of safe.
Ukrainian players have a lot of things on their mind probably, and I totally get why she withdrew. I hope she will be fit to compete in next tournaments.
Q. When you talk about responsibility, to set an example, you mean the Russian players and Belarusian players have a responsibility to say certain things and make statements about their sentiments about…
IGA SWIATEK: I think we all have the responsibility to kind of show the right example and right things. You know, I don’t have influence on some people’s values, but I think we are the ones that should set a good example. There is a responsibility on every of us, and that’s why we’re making that kind of money. That’s why we’re in media.
There are some, you know, advantages of that and disadvantages. Sometimes this responsibility is disadvantage, but it is how it is.
Q. Just looking ahead to Sorana, you guys have practiced together and she had some very nice things to say about you, just in terms of your game and personality. Curious what you make of that matchup and what do you remember about the Australian Open match, because that was an important match?
IGA SWIATEK: A long match. Yes, that was a really important match. But, you know, right now, like, it’s been a year, and also, we play in totally different circumstances.
Tactically I have to do the work again. But, you know, I practice with her and I know what she’s capable of and how well she can play. So I’ll be ready for anything.
But, yeah, Sorana is totally the player that deserves to be in the quarterfinal, so I’ll be ready.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
130314-1-1063 2023-03-15 06:35:00 GMT