LONDON, UK - By any standards, 18-year-old Iga Swiatek is one of the most impressive rising stars in the WTA firmament. The Pole's rise over the last 14 months from World No.899 in February 2018 to a current career high of  World No.63 has been meteoric, and has shown little sign of slowing even as she heads into increasingly rarefied territory. 

At the Australian Open in January, Swiatek contested her maiden Slam qualifying draw - and promptly powered through all three rounds, plus another in the main draw, racking up 131 winners along the way. Four months later, the reigning Wimbledon junior champion reached her maiden WTA final in Lugano, falling only to the experienced Polona Hercog. Last month, Swiatek marked her Roland Garros debut with a run to the fourth round, including a 6-3, 6-0 rout of No.16 seed Wang Qiang in her first ever meeting with a Top 20 player. 

Yet the wildcard Swiatek has received for the Wimbledon main draw next week is her first at WTA level - either qualifying or main draw. Not that she's sore about being overlooked compared to some of her similarly ranked peers.

"I got used to that, I got used to having to fight for everything and playing a lot of qualies," the teenager said during last week's Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham. If anything, only being able to play tournaments she could enter via her ranking was a boost. "I've earned it all. I'm meant to be here." And there's a sense of pride when she points out that it didn't exactly halt her progress. "Going from the juniors to the pro level still wasn't that long for me!" she smiles.

Following Swiatek's breakout Parisian performance, the new Polish No.1 had no time to celebrate. Instead, she was forced to set her racquets to the side for a week - both to recover from a minor injury and to turn her focus to what she calls her "responsibilities" - including her final high school exams. They went well, she says, particularly her beloved maths. "It's my favourite subject because everything's logical and I don't have to remember anything," Swiatek explains. "I'm not good at remembering dates and stuff so I don't like history. But in maths you just have to know the way to solve a problem, and you just have to see the solutions."

Both in the exam room and on court, Swiatek has a knack for making problem-solving look effortless. She says that she can apply maths to her tennis tactics - "I can see the geometry of the court; I like using angles" - and in the final round of Birmingham qualifying, down three match points to Bernarda Pera, Swiatek's solution was simple.

"I just chilled and played my best," she shrugged. "I didn't think about anything. Usually when I'm nervous I'm not gonna win that point, so I was like, Oh, I don't care!"

Despite her Wimbledon success, Swiatek still considers herself a creature of clay, the surface she was raised on. "Winning Wimbledon is still kind of crazy to me," she reveals. "I still don't feel that confident on grass." Her eyes light up when she talks about another goal, though: a medal at next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Swiatek freely admits that she was a player but not a fan of tennis when she was younger; indeed, she remembers being annoyed with her parents for always having the sport on the TV. "They would be watching every time there was a Grand Slam and I'd come home from playing and be like, oh my God, too much tennis." This changed when she began to contest the same tournaments in person - "When I saw at a Grand Slam all the players around me, I saw a different world" - but the Olympics have always been special to her.

After all, they run in the family: Swiatek's dad Tomasz was a rower who competed in the quadruple sculls at the 1988 Seoul Games. "He always talks about the experience he had, and it's also his dream for me to be at the Olympics," she says. Swiatek herself has had a taster of what it's like: last October, she partnered best friend Kaja Juvan to a gold medal in doubles at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. "I don't have perfect memories, though," she admits. "I got sick and I lost in the singles quarterfinals when I was hoping for a singles gold." That prize going to Juvan instead comforted her, though - and now Swiatek has her sights on the real thing.

"Tokyo? That's my dream for sure. That's one of my goals now."