Iga Swiatek, the world number one and four-time Grand Slam champion, is poised to vie for her third consecutive Qatar Open title this week. However, she approaches the tournament with a distinct mindset, emphasizing that each year’s event is a “totally different story.”
In a press conference on Sunday, Swiatek expressed that her previous victories at the Qatar Open have no bearing on this edition. Drawing from her experience last year, she emphasized the futility of focusing on defending titles, highlighting the ever-evolving nature of players’ careers. Iga Swiatek, the favorite to clinch the trophy in Doha, is set to commence her campaign against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.
“I learned from last year that there is no point in focusing on defending anything, so it’s a totally different chapter and a totally different story,” Iga Swiatek remarked. Her approach involves taking the tournament step by step and avoiding dwelling on past successes, recognizing the dynamic nature of players’ journeys.
While reflecting on her current position as the top-ranked player on the WTA Tour, Swiatek acknowledged the added pressures that come with it. Despite holding onto the world number one ranking, she admitted that maintaining standards and handling the expectations can be challenging. The 22-year-old highlighted the shift in dynamics, noting that being at the top can make it harder to take things easy, given the constant pursuit from other players.
Swiatek shared her perspective on the changes in her life due to her top-ranking status. “There is some stuff that’s changed because of the position that you’re at, but on the other hand, I always try to remind myself that I’m still the same person no matter what my ranking is and no matter what the number next to my name is,” she explained.
As she embarks on the Qatar Open, Swiatek embraces the uncertainties of tennis, acknowledging that the sport has a tendency to surprise even the most accomplished players. Her measured and adaptive approach reflects a maturity that goes beyond the numbers and rankings, emphasizing the essence of her journey in each tournament.
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