ROME, Italy -- World No.1 Iga Swiatek earned some well-deserved rest before the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and then picked up right where she left off. The 20-year-old successfully defended her title in Rome, extending her win streak to 28 matches and five consecutive titles. Swiatek is re-writing the record books as she marches through the draws on the Hologic WTA Tour, but there's little time to bask in the glow of her achievements.
Next target: Roland Garros.
Swiatek joined the WTA Insider Podcast after her 6-2, 6-2 win over Ons Jabeur in the Rome final to discuss what worked for her in Rome and look ahead to the pressures of being the favorite at the French Open.
Listen to the full interview om the WTA Insider Podcast below:
WTA Insider: After taking the break during Madrid, did this tournament feel different to you compared to Indian Wells, Miami and Stuttgart?
Swiatek: For sure. I would say it was much, much harder to get into the match rhythm again because before I was kind of going with the flow. I didn't over-analyze stuff. Here, I got more time to do that. So I had to be careful with that.
Also, I think all the expectations of people around, the media or the fans, went a little bit higher when they saw me on clay. So I'm pretty happy that I had my full team with me. Daria helped me a lot mentally and before the matches to get me into the right attitude. So I think that's just the teamwork that did the job.
And also, the whole decision that we made in Madrid to take a little break was pretty smart, but I wasn't convinced at the beginning. So right now I can give all the credit to them.
WTA Insider: In your press conference after the semifinal, you said you believe now that the sky is the limit. What does that mean to you?
Swiatek: It just means that that before matches like that, there's no point of thinking, 'Oh, this streak is getting long. When am I going to lose?' Or I don't know, is it even possible to win so many matches?
I just don't think about it. I honestly kind of believe that the sky's the limit and I can go even forward. That kind of attitude of just looking forward, not thinking what's already happened really helped me because I'm also saving energy by not doing that. I'm pretty proud of myself.
WTA Insider: Are you doing anything differently in terms of your preparation and recovery during a tournament?
Swiatek: Honestly in terms of the physical part, we're doing a pretty similar job I think. You have to ask my coaches, because honestly, most of the times they're telling me what to do and I'm not even thinking why. So it's their job to do everything in a smart way.
I would say tactically, I'm preparing a little bit more carefully. We are also talking about that the night before the match. Before I had just quick tips right before warmup. So I think right now it's looking a little bit more professional and I'm more focused on the tactical stuff. So that's nice.
I just think everything clicked from all the people that I'm working with, from my tennis coach, Daria, Maciej. Yeah.
5 - Iga #Swiatek is the fourth player in 2000s to win 5+ consecutive tournaments played after Venus Williams in 2000, Justine Henin in 2007-2008 and Serena Williams in 2013. Empress.#IBI22 @WTA_insider @WTA pic.twitter.com/k4mhzytVaT— OptaAce (@OptaAce) May 15, 2022
WTA Insider: You head to Roland Garros as the favorite. What will be the key for you there?
Swiatek: Well, I think the key is going to be just doing the same stuff I did before. Right now, at these tournaments, I already faced a lot of pressure. So hopefully the different kind of pressure that we have at a Grand Slam isn't going to overwhelm me.
But I'm trying to accept that the streak someday is going to finish. It's physically and mentally hard to keep doing the same job every week because we are also humans.
So I'm just going to try to find a little bit more distance to it and just treat the Grand Slam as any other tournament and maybe enjoying what's around a little bit more. Enjoying that we have one day off between matches because here it was pretty intense and I didn't even get to see Rome. So in Paris, I hope it's going to be different.
WTA Insider: Speaking of enjoying, what have you been doing recently to occupy yourself in your downtime?
Swiatek: Well, it was pretty hard to travel with Legos, so I got tired of that. But, yeah, books for sure. I'm trying to read something other than fiction to educate myself a little bit more. I'm watching "Gilmore Girls" for the second time.
But here, honestly, we didn't really have time to do anything other than watch one episode of a TV show and maybe reading for 30 minutes. So most of the time I was just sleeping.
So in Paris, I don't know. I love to see the city, especially after being in bubbles for the past year. And I'm enjoying that a little bit more and trying to kind of broaden my horizons in that.
WTA Insider: Congratulations and enjoy your tiramisu.
Swiatek: Oh, my God. I already feel it. It's going to be so good. I'm going to eat like three of them. So hopefully I'm going to be in a good shape in Paris.