World No. 1 Iga Swiatek has revealed she was overawed at seeing Serena Williams and was too shy to approach the 23-time major winner.
Swiatek is the standout player in the women’s game, having won the French Open as part of a 35-match unbeaten run.
Victory in Paris was her second Grand Slam, and the way she has dominated the game in 2022 suggests there are many more to come.
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The 21-year-old has some way to go to scale the heights Williams has climbed, and she was in awe of seeing the 40-year-old warming up for Wimbledon.
“When I saw her yesterday I was pretty overwhelmed,” Swiatek said. “I felt like I am still new on the WTA, I didn’t know how to react properly.
“I wanted to meet her but I saw that she had so many people around her and I don’t know her team.
“It was pretty weird. So I came back to myself a few years earlier when I was too shy to say hi to anybody for a second.
“But I feel that just seeing her around is great because she is such a legend.”
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Swiatek is a short-priced favourite to add to her major tally at SW19, but she has reined in expectations by saying she is still working out how to play on grass.
“I still feel like I need to figure out grass,” Swiatek said. “Last year for sure it was that kind of tournament where I didn’t know what to expect. Then match by match I realised I can do more and more.
"Still, this year I played 10 days on grass, so it’s not a lot.
“I did not have a lot of time to prepare. But I’m just trying to stay open minded and kind of take positives from the situation and realise I can play without any expectations.”
Swiatek will kick off her quest for Wimbledon glory against Jana Fett.
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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
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