THE MODERATOR: Iga has something she’d like to say.
IGA SWIATEK: Yes. So basically I have an announcement. I decided that because today is the World Mental Health Day, I’m going to honor it a little bit and donate my prize money from third round to some nonprofit organization.
Sorry, I’m stressed a little bit probably because I have never done that before. Yeah, basically, mental health support, it’s always been like a close topic for me, so I want to, for the first time, do something that direction to help someone, some people.
We haven’t chosen the exact, you know, nonprofit right now, because basically I came up with the idea during my match, which is not really professional (smiling). But stay tuned to my social media. That’s the message for the fans, because I’m going to be, you know, talking with you probably in the comments of my post about choosing the right organizations or foundations.
Sorry, I’m pretty stressed. I’m better at answering questions.
So stay tuned, because I will have discussion with you about that, and we can do that together, and so it’s really helpful. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Why don’t you walk us through that match and your performance today.
IGA SWIATEK: Well, first of all, I’m pretty happy that I was so confident, and like in my second round basically I had that moment when I lost my focus a little bit. Today was completely different. I was really disciplined, and that’s like the important word for me right now, because like mentally and physically I think it’s pretty hard to do that at the end of the season to just stay, you know, in the right place, and I’m pretty happy that today it worked out.
That was my goal, and I think that was the key for that match.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. I was going to ask you about something related to mental health. As you say, it’s Mental Health Day. Would you say it’s useful to have a psychologist on a team when you are high-performance athletes? And also, you spoke about world mental health. When would you say it’s helpful to go to a psychologist?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, you know, it’s a hard question. It’s probably better to ask some specialist about that.
But I would say like in sports it’s, for me, it was always important to use that kind of help, because I always thought that in my mental toughness there is some strength that I can use on court and I can also develop in that manner.
But I also know that there are people who are — you know, everybody has different paths, and it’s great that we can choose our path, because I know that there are people who also don’t need psychologist. Basically I’m not saying that, Hey, you should do that if you want to be the best, because everybody has different personality and everybody has different needs.
It’s just good to, you know, stay open-minded. If you need that kind of help, then, you know, go for it. If you’re up to and if you’re open-minded, I think it helps a lot. As you can develop physically and tactically and get experience, you can also develop in that manner, and I think it’s important.
So, yeah, I’m feeling comfortable about talking about the sports part of psychology, because as I said, I’m not an expert, so I leave the second part of the question probably.
Q. When you have a day like you had today, can you sense that something like that is going to happen in advance when you have your warmup or your practice session earlier in the day? As a match like that is developing, what are your thoughts?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, yes, I mean, physically I feel like I can sense that. Also, you know, my fitness coach has a good touch, and usually he knows when it’s going to be like the peak, you know, of how I feel on court physically.
Today I think it was that day. Also, he said like few days ago that the peak, I mean, I’m going to have it like yesterday or today. So that was, he had good — sorry, I forgot the word. Basically, like, he’s seeing me on court. He knew when the time is going to come.
But for me I would say it’s always hard to say that, because, I mean, I’m a little bit stressed before the match no matter if it’s third round or a final of some tournament. I’m just stressed, so sometimes it’s hard to, you know, look at yourself from this perspective and say that, Hey, this is going to be the day, because it’s easier to do that after few games on court when the stress is gone a little bit and I saw, you know, how am I performing.
So, yeah, so I would say that the people around know better if I’m going to have day like that.
Q. Happy Anniversary.
IGA SWIATEK: Thanks.
Q. On court you said that this season, the last 12 months you have actually surpassed your expectations, and I know you have had expectations for yourself and for this sophomore season. I wondered if you could explain what about it surpassed what you were hoping for this year?
IGA SWIATEK: Well, first of all, I didn’t know what to expect, because I was playing as a Grand Slam champion. Like day by day, I’m really ambitious. When I go on court, I want to, you know, play everything perfectly, which is not constructive sometimes.
But it is like it is (smiling). You know, looking at everything like what am I going to do next season, after Roland Garros I really didn’t know how it’s gonna go. I actually thought I’m not gonna be able to cope with everything as well as I did. So this is one of the things.
I would say like the overall results, because before Roland Garros, I have never won any tournament, and this season I already won two. I know it’s not good also to focus just on results, but still, we are tennis players, so basically, yeah, we are looking at that. I would say these two tournaments gave me a lot of confidence.
Probably also I would say my rankings right now, I know that I’m going to lose some points next week, so I’m trying to enjoy that right now, but being fourth in the world, I mean, like two years ago I wouldn’t even imagine that. So, yeah.
Q. I know you didn’t get to hit with Andy, but if you could share what was your experience like chatting to him and what did you guys talk about?
IGA SWIATEK: You know, I already talked to him a few times on tour, so I know that he’s a great guy. I was talking a little bit more with his coach, because he was late for his practice. Great. I’m giving him bad reputation (smiling).
Yeah, basically I talked with his coach a little bit about, like, how does Andy like do it, that he’s like constantly talking to himself between points and it’s working out well and he’s like pumping him up.
Because usually when I talk to myself, I’m, like, I go on court and I’m angry, you know. I really would love to learn how he does that.
So I was talking with his coach about that, and with Andy about my grass court skills. So that was a hard topic (smiling).
Yeah, but still, as I said, he’s a great guy. He has a great sense of humor. I’m pretty happy that we had a chance to talk and, you know, I just didn’t want to get him tired. So I decided not to play or practice.
Q. One of the interesting parts of your job is that you’re kind of an employer and you have people in the team who are kind of on your payroll. I’m curious how you have found that aspect of the sport so far in terms of deciding who to work with, deciding who travels with you, who represents you, that kind of thing.
IGA SWIATEK: Well, like I like to think that my team is going to like stay for longer way like it is, so I’m not, you know, coaches, it’s not a decision like that. It’s usually like I changed my coach twice during my whole life, so I always, like even when we have some ups and downs, I always see like the perspective and that we can work it out, because I’m not a fan of changing the people I work with.
I think it’s working out pretty well, because we actually get to know each other, and we have pretty cool atmosphere when we are on tour. Yeah, but I know that it’s pretty tricky to kind of like paying somebody and the person is like telling you what to do, which is pretty tricky, because it works differently in other jobs. But that’s how the relationship between the coach and player is.
Sometimes it’s pretty annoying, but, you know, at the end, like, I’m not thinking about money a lot, so I treat them more like companion for me and more like people who can help me than the people who I work with or who I pay.
Q. I also wanted to ask you, you mentioned earlier about the mental health initiative you brought up while on the court. Curious what kind of things are going through your mind when you’re on the court.
IGA SWIATEK: Usually not things like that, but I’m not proud of it, but today in the second set I thought about that, because I was, you know, aware that this is World Mental Health Day. And actually I think Venus Williams inspired me a lot, because when I saw her statement and her initiative, I mean, that was just so great.
I thought that even though I’m like 20 and I don’t feel like it’s time for me yet to, I don’t know, start a foundation or something, because still I need to focus on tennis, I can do some smaller things and maybe just take it step by step and just, you know, learn how to do this kind of stuff.
I was thinking about doing that next year, but today I just felt like it’s a good time to do it because of the day that we have today. Yeah. It was kind of like — we weren’t planning that. So, yeah.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports