FORT WORTH, Texas -- Can anyone stop Iga Swiatek at the WTA Finals? Coco Gauff, Caroline Garcia and Daria Kasatkina will take their shots after being drawn along with the World No.1 into the Tracy Austin Group at the WTA Finals.
WTA Finals round-robin groups drawn in Fort Worth
After sealing her regular season by winning her eighth title of the year at San Diego, Swiatek comes into her second WTA Finals as the top seed. She will open the group's round-robin play against No.8 Kasatkina on Tuesday. Looming in her group is No.6 seed Garcia, who is the only player in the Fort Worth field has a win over Swiatek this season.
"I feel like the conditions were totally different [from San Diego], and right now I need to adjust to the ball basically again because we play with US Open Regular Duty," Swiatek told reporters at WTA Finals Media Day. "I have to just put more energy in that and in controlling the ball.
"But the preparation went well. We did everything we planned. I was able to recover. I felt really sore after these two tournaments. I feel more fresh right now, and that's all that matters because I'm able to give my all during matches."
Swiatek: "I feel like there is a lot of variety in my group in terms of the way Coco, Caro and Dasha are playing.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) October 29, 2022
"I’m super excited to be in the finals. I feel like it’s a celebration of what we’ve done in the past year. I’m just proud to be here."#WTAFinals pic.twitter.com/1fwQECyz1q
Howdy y'all: Players touch down in Fort Worth
Here's what the women of the Tracy Austin Group had to say on Media Day:
Garcia on the Swiatek challenge:
"WTA Finals is a challenge, but she's a challenge just by herself. She lost very few matches. I won against her in Poland, but it was very different condition, clay court. She was playing in Poland, and it was probably her first time.
"It's a whole different match for sure. It's group stage as well. I will try to play my game, be aggressive. That's my way of playing, and that's probably the best chance I have to beat her."
I know the answer … 😅🙈😱 https://t.co/FpW6jZwbe6— Caroline Garcia (@CaroGarcia) October 29, 2022
Swiatek on Jessica Pegula's winning finish to the season in Guadalajara:
"I always felt like she's really consistent, and I'm pretty happy that she won Guadalajara because I felt like she deserved to have this big title even earlier.
"She is that kind of person that I feel like you can kind of trust her. She's on Players Council and she's always been helpful. It feels like she knows what she's doing. She's really intelligent on court as well.
"It's great that she's fulfilling her goals. She for sure deserves that title, and I think even more."
Gauff on qualifying for her first WTA Finals:
"I think it just shows that I'm progressing. Sometimes I forget that I am. I think it allows me to take a step back and realize that I am one of the top eight players in the world, and I should be grateful for that."
"I think it is significant that there's a lot of new faces. I think it shows that the tour is always evolving. There's always going to be someone coming up and doing well. I think that's what makes it exciting."
Behind the scenes at the WTA Finals Iconic Photo
Garcia on returning to the WTA Finals five years after her first qualification in 2017:
"I would have preferred to come back a little bit earlier, but I'm already glad I'm coming back and I get to live this experience again. It's a gift after a very tough and very good season, and really proud of the work.
"Yes, Singapore was a long time ago. I qualified last-minute and very unexpected. I'm not going to say this one was expected. It's kind of the same situation."
Howdy Texas 🤠 @JLPegula pic.twitter.com/62NNMozoo2— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) October 29, 2022
Gauff on her doubles partner Pegula:
"I don't think anyone has anything bad to say about her. She's so humble, so kind. Her team, too, her husband, everyone, her sister. I've gotten to know her family a little bit. They're all very nice people.
"When you are going week in and week out every time, these weeks can be a little tiring, but having a person that you get along with definitely helps."
Pegula and Gauff doubling up at the WTA Finals
Swiatek on how she maintains her drive and ambition:
"I feel like I also accepted that I don't have to feel always 100% motivated. Sometimes, especially after Grand Slams when you are playing these smaller tournaments, you feel the energy level is a little bit lower. But on the other hand, when I'm going on court, it's still the same, and I always want to win. I'm basing my motivation on that."
Garcia on the challenge of the WTA Finals:
"To be here with the format of it, you know you are going to play at least three matches against between No.1 and between No.8. It's something that's happening very rarely. Even in Slams you are not sure you are going to play those kind of players at the end of the tournament. It's probably the strongest tournament of the year."