Iga Swiatek says it feels ‘more normal’ to be world No 1 as the Polish star looks to create history
Iga Swiatek says it now feels ‘more normal’ to be the world’s number 1 as the Polish star aims to make history and extend her 35-game unbeaten run with a Wimbledon win against Croatian Jana Fett
- Iga Swiatek is #1 since Ash Barty’s shocking retirement in March
- The Polish star is now finally comfortable with her Wimbeldon status
- A win against Jana Fett will give her the longest undefeated streak in the 21st century
Iga Swiatek is finally comfortable with her status as the best female tennis player in the world.
The Polish No. 1 starts proceedings for the Ladies’ Single on Center Court in the absence of defending champion Ash Barty, who announced her shocking retirement in March.
That also gave the top spot to Swiatek, who has since turned from an impostor to an invincible.
Iga Swiatek finally feels comfortable with her status as the best female tennis player in the world
The 21-year-old has not lost in 35 games, including an emphatic victory at last month’s French Open.
“I’m just proud of myself that I coped well with all the expectations and the pressure after becoming NO.1.
“I was number 2 for about five days. It wasn’t planned!
“Now it feels more normal. Saying that out loud still feels unreal, but living my life from day to day has gotten used to it.”
The win at the Croatian qualifier Jana Fett on Tuesday will take her past Venus Williams and set the longest unbeaten run in the 21st century.
Victory over Jane Fett sees Polish star set longest undefeated streak in 21st century
That is why she is the runaway favorite to add Wimbledon to her two French Open titles. The humble 2018 junior champion here is also aware that a run to last year’s fourth round represents her best All England performance as a senior pro.
“Honestly, I still feel like I need to pick out grass. Last year I didn’t know what to expect, but match by match I realized that maybe I can do more and more.
“This year I only played 10 days on grass, so that’s not much. I didn’t have much time to prepare.
“I’m just trying to stay open-minded and take positives out of the situation and realize that I can play without expectations.
“I’ve had so many successes this season that I don’t have to show everyone that I have to play well in every tournament. It’s tennis – we have ups and downs.’
Swiatek took a week off after Roland Garros to ease the fatigue and adrenaline rush, but ended up cleaning her house in Poland to relax.
Swiatek can face Serena Williams in the semi-finals after being linked on the same side of the draw
Continuing where she left off in Paris could lead to a possible semi-final against Serena Williams after being linked on the same side of the draw.
Williams, 40, did not compete here last year with a first round injury but is still feared as a seven-time champion.
The current and former No. 1 shared Center Court for a practice session last week and a sheepish Swiatek smiled: ‘I was blown away.
‘I never played her. I didn’t know how to respond perfectly. I wanted to meet her.
“It’s great to just see her because she’s such a legend. There is no one who has done so much in tennis.’