Iga Swiatek hopes to use her winning experience as she prepares for the Miami Open final later on Saturday.
The 20-year-old Polish athlete has won 16 matches in a row, winning titles at Indian Wells and in Doha this season, and needs seven more matches to reach the 23 consecutively won by Naomi Osaka over the course of the last two years.
Osaka is Swiatek’s opponent for the final in Florida, and despite the constant action, Swiatek claims she is invigorated by the success rather than drained by it.
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"My body feels great, which is, for me, I want to see where my limit is and also how it's going to cope. I always felt pretty confident with my body," Swiatek said.
"My mental game also is on point, because I feel like I'm using this streak, and it's not like something that is pushing me down. So, for sure it gets, like I get tired and I have to work through that, but it's just being like mentally tired. It's not something that I haven't had.
"So, I feel like I can even use the experience I had from last year."
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Swiatek won the French Open in 2020 but did not take a title last year. She has a new coach, Tomasz Witkorowski, as well as a psychologist, Daria Abramowicz, with the duo appearing to turn her fortunes around so far this campaign.
Swiatek is ranked second in the world, and will be elevated to No. 1 spot following the retirement of Ashley Barty.
"It’s kind of hard to catch up with everything, but I feel like we, as a team, we are doing such a good job to get me ready. For sure like physically after the matches we are doing really good recovery, but also mentally with Daria, I think before the match we have really good pep talks that are keeping me really focused on the job," exclaimed Swiatek.
"Basically, it was always important for me to physically be able to be stronger than my opponents. Right now, it became kind of obvious that I'm gonna be strong and I'm gonna run to everything," Swiatek said. "When I was younger, I had to, a little bit, force myself to do that, but I got used to it. Right now, I feel pretty confident it's giving me a lot of skills. It's great."
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Her opponent, Japanese player Osaka, was pleased to have shown her resilience with a comeback win over Belinda Bencic in her semi-final.
She won 4-6 6-3 6-4 and her place in the final is her first this season, representing a promising potential comeback for the player after a difficult couple of years.
"In the second set I just told myself, 'Listen, if she beats you, someone is going to have to carry you off the court in a stretcher, because you're going to fight for everything,'" Osaka said.
"I think I just got opportunities and I was able to see them as opportunities. So I was able to push myself through it.
"I'm honestly glad that this was such a tough match, because I feel like you need that learning experience, and I learned a lot from today.
"I was just telling myself, 'This is a really good chance to show yourself how much you have matured ... Just try not to repeat the mistakes that you have made before."
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