French Open winner Iga Swiatek is already aiming to move on from her win in Paris as she prepares for the 2021 Australian Open.
The Polish player won the French Open aged 19, and despite that achievement she has not been able to find long-lasting satisfaction.
Speaking to the press, she said of her win: “The biggest surprise actually isn’t really positive.
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I was always imagining that when I’m going to win a Grand Slam, I’m going to just enjoy it for the rest of my life, it’s going to be rainbows everywhere, I’m going to be some kind of at peace in myself that I already won a Grand Slam and I reached my goal. The truth is that humans aren’t like that: they just want more. I feel expectations even though I did something great at the French Open. I want more, basically. I feel more pressure and expectations. I also feel that it’s hard to prepare for that moment.
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Despite her remarkable early success, Swiatek had not counted on making the grade as a professional, so had considered switching to university life if it became clear she could not cut it. Of course, the decision has now been made plain.
“I always wanted to have kind of a plan B, so if I’m not going to be playing tennis pretty well, I’ll always have some other options in my life,” she explained.
But right now it seems that I am for sure going to be a tennis player. I know that this is my life.
She has come so far that at the end of last year she was awarded the Golden Cross of Merit by the Polish state, and came second in the running to claim Poland’s sportsperson of the year, ultimately won by Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.
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After the win, she missed the chance to talk with the winner. “During the break when we wanted to talk, all the people suddenly came and they wanted to take a photo of us. We didn’t get a chance to talk longer.”
Swiatek begins her pursuit of another Grand Slam in the first round of the Australian Open with a match against Dutch world number 74, Arantxa Rus. She is, however, not getting ahead of herself.
“First of all, I am trying to think about the smallest things, like going back to my roots, just playing tennis,” she said.
“I’m trying to enjoy that I’m here. Forget about the tournament, forget about my practices, just living in the moment and being happy that I can travel and I can be here.”
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