THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. That was a good match from you. Can you talk us through it a little bit about today.
IGA SWIATEK: Yeah. Well, I’m pretty happy that I was able to come back again this season from one set down. And for sure I felt like physically I’m really well prepared and I could use all my strengths, even after two hours of playing. So I’m pretty proud of that.
Q. It didn’t seem like, after losing the first set, it didn’t seem like you were that concerned with the way you finished that match. What do you think clicked?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, I knew that I’m playing good and I think my level was high in the first set. I wasn’t sure what to change actually because usually I know what the solutions are, but today, yeah, I felt like I’m doing a good job and some balls for sure I was missing, but it’s because of the conditions here, so I kind of have to forget that, forgive myself for making those mistakes.
But I think my coach gave me a pretty good coaching, so shout out to him because, yeah, it was like, I believe a tip that helped me. I’m not going to tell it to you (smiling).
Q. Talking about coming back from a set down, you’ve done it four times this year. I think you’ve only done it four times in your previous two seasons combined. So what is different about you that you’re able to make the adjustments or is it just like you said, being kind to yourself?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, I think my work that I’ve been doing with Daria is clicking, basically, and like mentally I feel that I have more skills right now to just stay calm and think about solutions because before, I mean, yeah, I struggled with emotions a little bit and sometimes I wasn’t choosing the right path to change something. I don’t know.
After I lost the first set I remember I was, I wanted to be like more pumped up and have more energy and whatever, but right now it’s like more focused and, yeah, it’s easier for me to find solutions and like getting pumped up, it’s not going to help you sometimes, so I don’t know why I would think that. But, I don’t know. Usually I’m pretty emotional so when you have all these emotions coming you kind of feel like your view is not clear. But right now it is much, much clearer for me.
Q. That focus that you have after those, you drop a set or things like that, do you find that because you have a different philosophy or a different view or perspective on that situation or are there tools that working with Daria have given you like things to think about mantras, whatever it is?
IGA SWIATEK: I think tools and skills but also, I don’t know, before when I was losing I felt like my whole life is bad and like the base of my existing is suddenly destroyed because I’m losing a tennis match, you know?
And right now I have more distance to everything and I can, yeah, see clearly. Yeah, basically, I’m just more calm and more confident, I would say. Confidence is a key as well. But you also have to believe with some experience, you know, so, yeah, I feel like it’s clicking right now.
Q. You mentioned your conditioning coach as well. How has working on conditioning maybe impacted your mental strength on court? Do you enjoy doing that kind of work? Like running, can you clear your head or do you —
IGA SWIATEK: I don’t enjoy running, but I do like working out in a gym and sometimes even it’s nicer for me when I’m doing like pre-season or when I’m in between tournaments to do conditioning training rather than tennis because we’ve been playing tennis like a lot.
So I really like conditioning practices, especially, yeah, in the gym. Running not that much, but I’m not running actually a lot. We’re more like doing specific practices for tennis, so it’s not like I have to run for 30 minutes because we don’t need that, right?
Yeah. I think my coach is pretty smart and I think that’s the key because he’s a good specialist and he really knows my body right now because we’ve been working together since 2020, so, yeah.
Q. Can you talk about the difficulty of playing in this tournament in terms of the condition. Some players might say ball flies too fast in the air and somebody would say it’s too windy or ball bounces too high. So how is the condition for you?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, for sure the wind was crazy for a few days, so that’s understandable. Yeah, I’m pretty happy that I wasn’t playing in those windy conditions. I was lucky.
But on the other hand, everybody has the same conditions, so you got to work on that pretty well and not focus on that and I think it’s hard for me. It’s also hard because I tend to focus on the things that I don’t have control on sometimes. But I know, I mean, I’m getting better at not doing that, but still.
But the ball is flying really crazy. It’s the only tournament where we play in that dry conditions. So the air is like oh, my God, how to explain it in English? I don’t know why I started that.
But, yeah, I mean, you can Google it and see how it is when the air is pretty dry. Like, the ball doesn’t get much, I forget how it is in English. So it’s not falling down, especially when you play — yeah, I feel like I can’t really loosen up my hand here. I always have to play like on hold for a little bit, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not playing good. You just have to adjust more your game and that’s all.
It’s pretty tiring on court, but, I mean, honestly, I’m pretty lucky that I play well in humid conditions because we play most of the different tournaments in humid conditions. I try to treat it as not as a problem but as like a lesson.
Q. A moment ago you were saying that when you used to lose a match it was almost like the world was finishing. So the change that’s happened, is it to do with you being a little bit older, with maturity, or is it more to do with the experience of being on the tour now on a more regular and frequent basis?
IGA SWIATEK: Both, I would say, for sure, and there are many other reasons. I mean, I realized last year that tennis is pretty unpredictable and anything can happen because on some tournaments I really felt great and I was losing third round.
But on some tournaments, like in the Rome, my first two rounds were pretty, I mean, I wasn’t feeling comfortable on court and then I won the tournament. So like looking at a wide perspective, tennis is pretty unpredictable, but also on that match over these two hours like a lot can change. So I try to remember that.
And, yeah, as I said, I’m just focused on finding solutions and actually it is changing sometimes over these few hours, so, yeah.
Q. Can you talk about what it was like to face Clara? I think it’s been a few years since you’ve seen her. Has she changed quite a bit and what did you think of her game?
IGA SWIATEK: I think she’s, like the placement of her serve is pretty smart. It’s sometimes hard to predict where she’s going to serve and she’s serving pretty fast, so, yeah, that was tricky.
Yeah, I think you have to put pressure on her too because she likes, you know, being aggressive as well and playing fast and her hand is pretty like strong and I feel like she was, you know, hitting full power sometimes when I didn’t put much pressure on her. So I need to do that.
But, I mean, that’s the case with most of the players, honestly. But I’m pretty glad that at the end of the match I felt physically, I don’t know how she felt, obviously, but I could see the difference in longer rallies that I was playing more balls in. That’s all I can say, basically, because, I mean, I would have more to say if I watched that match, but I was more focused on my game, you know?
Q. You’ll play either Angelique Kerber or Daria Kasatkina in a next round. This will be the fourth straight tournament with Dascha, if that happens. I’m kind of curious, you haven’t dropped a set to her this year and those matches have been pretty, you looked in control of them. What, do you worry about having to play a player that you have already played so many times literally week after week after week?
IGA SWIATEK: I feel that in Doha, actually, and I didn’t know how to approach that match, you don’t get many situations like that in your season.
So, I mean, I don’t know, I’m going to work on it, if she’s going to win. But, yeah, it’s pretty weird (laughing) I don’t know who is making all the draws, but, I mean, it’s going to be hard for sure, because all the matches that I played against her the scores were totally different than how it felt. Because we were playing pretty long games and she’s pretty consistent when she’s playing rallies, longer rallies.
So, yeah, so it’s going to be hard. Every tournament has different conditions, so I don’t know, I would have to prepare for that match, for sure. It’s not like you win three times and now you’re going to win for sure, you know? That approach would be bad.
So, on the other hand, I want to treat it as any other match, yeah.
Q. Tomasz, when he gives you or helps to prepare you for a match, what does that kind of look like in terms of scouting report? Is it super detailed, is he keeping things pretty simple, does he go to tape, like what is the process that you guys have worked out?
IGA SWIATEK: He’s keeping it pretty simple. Our goal this season is for me to focus more on my game. Because, as I was talking in previous interviews, I tend to kind of adjust to what my opponent was playing in previous seasons and right now I feel like I have skills to actually be more productive and play my game.
So actually it is more detailed, usually I’m like the one who is asking more and more questions about my opponent and he’s like, Okay, let’s focus on you, you know what you got to do. Yeah, it’s pretty straightforward because, honestly, I need that when I’m, I need to have like clear thoughts when I’m playing, so you don’t want to over analyze on court, yeah.
Q. The season is pretty young, but you played a lot of good tennis so far. Curious to know if there’s one thing you were most excited or maybe most proud of that you’ve done this season?
IGA SWIATEK: For sure right now I would say coming back from all these sets down, but also implementing that new approach that my coach was, you know, telling me about. Yeah, these two things.
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